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Today in the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs

[ 27 ] February 11, 2011 |

Depressing, but not surprising:

There have been about 350,000 arrests for marijuana possession since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office in 2002, the policy alliance said.

Seventy percent of those arrested are younger than 30, and 86 percent are black or Latino, even though, according to the Drug Policy Group, “young whites use marijuana at higher rates.

And, of course, this discriminatory enforcement is not a coincidence; it’s what allows draconian drug laws to stay in the books. In theory, this where courts should intervene. In practice, the same Supreme Court that is very concerned about the “discrimination” inherent in local school boards voluntarily desegregating couldn’t care less about the actual invidious discrimination of the War on Drugs.


Comments (27)

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LG&M, Scott Lemieux. Scott Lemieux said: Today in the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs: […]

  2. gocart mozart says:

    CT has a sentence enhancement law for selling drugs within 1500 feet of a school. Show me a community that has over 90% of its area within 1500 feet of a school and I will show you a majority minority community. Overwhelmingly white suburbs and rural areas are much much less likely to be near a school. Of course I am sure that this fact is only a coincidence.

  3. Joe says:

    “Most people arrested for marijuana possession offenses are handcuffed, placed in a police car, taken to a police station, fingerprinted and photographed, held in jail for 24 hours or more and then arraigned before a judge.”

  4. Brenda Helverson says:

    And then you run into the mandatory sentencing problem. In some jurisdictions a Judge may not have the discretion to lower a sentence. Prosecutors get reelected for enforcing these sorts of laws and cops get more funding for making more busts. This little gravy train needs to be interrupted before we can make any progress on decriminalization.

  5. MikeN says:

    Wasn’t there a study a few years ago that said that NY cops use these arrests as a way to add overtime?
    You make the bust right near the end of the shift, it’s a clean bust in that the arrestee isn’t likely to be violent or vomit or defecate in your car, and isn’t a nice suburban white kid whose parents might raise hell.

  6. RepubAnon says:

    Meanwhile, Florida’s Tea Party government has essentially deregulated the sale of “hillbilly heroin”:

    “We’re getting wiped out up here with all these drug overdose deaths,” said the Boyd County sheriff, frustration seeping into his eastern Kentucky drawl. “We’re inundated with pills from Florida. We’re drowning in Florida pills,” he said. “Florida just doesn’t seem willing to do anything about it.”

    Gov. Rick Scott didn’t improve Florida’s reputation among Kentucky law officers this week when his proposed budget included plans to kill the state’s prescription drug monitoring program before it started. The computerized record system was supposed to curtail high-volume, barely regulated sales of oxycodone and other prescription narcotics by Florida’s faux medical clinics.

    Florida Herald: Commentary: Killing Florida’s pill-mill database would be a bad move

    So: Rush Limbaugh’s preferred drug can be purchased easily for cash with no legal oversight, despite the many overdose deaths and known addictive nature. Legalizing marijuana, however, is a wacky fringe idea…

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