End The War on Drugs

Tuesday, 17 August 2010 14:58 Chris Wright
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In 1982, the "Great Communicator," President Ronald Reagan, officially announced the War on Drugs. Indeed, Reagan's use of colorblind rhetoric on crime, welfare queens, taxes, and state's rights intentionally exploited the backlash against the Civil Rights Movement for political gain. Today, the Reagan Racist War on Drugs has created a Mass Incarceration Police State (MIPS) that arrests, incarcerates and  discriminates against minorities with alarming disparities making Reagan the "Great Excommunicator." Let's end Prohibition, the New Jim Crow, that has created a new racial caste system that is designed to deny jobs, housing, education, public benefits, licenses, disenfranchises the right to vote or serve on a jury, and makes people unable to provide for their children or families.

If you could regulate distribution through prohibition, then it would be unprofitable for gangsters to terrorize our streets.  Why insist on gangster distribution?  If you want to put the gangs out of business, take the business out of the gangs.  Let’s face it; the only ones who profit from prohibition are the gangsters, cops, courts, prisons and the drug treatment industry.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet reported that an estimated 60-80% level of interdiction would be required to make drug distribution unprofitable. (See Revealed: How Drugs War Failed) That level of interdiction may be possible in prison, but they’re selling drugs in prison too.  And if you could make it unprofitable to sell, forget about civil liberties, there won’t be any.   Your lawmakers know there isn’t enough tax dollars in Minnesota or the world to control distribution.  Despite the proven safety record for regulated distribution of liquor, your lawmakers insist on the most destructive form of narcotics distribution, through the black market.  If prohibition works so well, then why not insist on gangster distribution of liquor?  They know they’re wrong!

Prohibition subsidizes criminals, bankrolls gangsters, endangers our children, destroys public safety, corrupts public officials, undermines foreign governments, creates terrorism abroad, undermines the Bill of Rights, overburdens the courts, overcrowds the prisons, and is racist in origin and in practice.  Prohibition fosters discrimination in the public mind by associating ethnic minorities with criminal behavior.  Prohibition undermines the school systems children attend, causes children to live in fear; and undermines society by instilling gang values and gang culture. As a matter of survival children are forced to become gang members.  Is this the way to protect our children?

The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse said people of all races use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates. Yet, law enforcement targets poor minority neighborhoods with Special Weapons Attack Teams (SWAT) for no-knock service of drug warrants; stop-and-frisk tactics; sweeps of minority school students; anonymous informant search warrants; wiretapping; unidentified paid informants; pretext stops and consent searches with drug sniffing dogs; helicopter surveillance of homes without a warrant; and forfeiture of cash, homes, and other property based on unproven allegations of illegal drug activity. If law enforcement targeted rich white neighborhoods who are politically well connected you can bet neighbors would put a stop to it, but, as always law observance is for the powerless, not the powerful. Prohibitionists target poor and vulernable people who have no means to fight back.

The two-party tyranny that supports the Reagan Racist War on Drugs, like those who supported slavery and the Jim Crow caste system, aren't bad or evil people, they're just blind to their wickedness.

Chris Wright proposes that we regulate narcotics.  We would seek to repeal the statewide prohibition, decriminalize narcotics and allow local option for communities to choose how they want to regulate controlled substances.  The regulated distribution of liquor has proven itself to be a time-tested policy that has ended gang distribution and violent marketing.  

Besides the enormous revenues generated for the state, the tax savings in law enforcement and prisons alone would be a great help to taxpayers and the public safety on the streets will be a relief to our communities.  Parents could let their kids play outside without fear that they’ll be hit by a stray bullet or killed in the crossfire of drive-by shootings.

It was the Great Depression that drove lawmakers desperate for revenue to repeal alcohol prohibition.  Chris Wright believes the time to strike is now because of the Great Recession.  But let’s do it for the sake of freedom and justice, not just for money.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 15:49