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Sat Oct 20, 2012, 07:16 PM

The War on Drugs is really just a war on Black People [View all]




Carl Williams was dismissed as superintendent of NJ’s state police after publicly defending racial profiling on the grounds that “mostly minorities” traffic in marijuana and cocaine. Williams’ remarks reflect a widely-held view. This view has been nurtured by racially-biased profiles of drug couriers, profiles developed by agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency. The view has been reinforced by police practices which disproportionately target black and Latino communities for drug busts and then use the arrests made in these raids as “evidence” that drug use and trafficking is predominantly a “minority” problem.

What are the facts about drug use in the U.S.?

Of an estimated 13.3 million illicit drug users, nearly ten million (72%) are white. Only two million drug users are black. Among blacks, illicit drug use is slightly higher (8.2% of the population aged 12 and older uses drugs) than it is among whites (6.1%) and Hispanics (6.1%).

Marijuana/hashish is the most common illicit drug used and accounts for more than 80% of illicit drug use. The racial/ethnic breakdown of marijuana/ hashish users is comparable to the breakdown for overall illicit drug use.

Less than 2 million persons in the U.S. use cocaine (less than 1% of the 12 and over population). Rates of cocaine use among blacks (1.3%) and Hispanics (1.3%) are higher than for whites (0.7%) in the 12 and over population. However, the actual number of white cocaine users is 3.5 times as great as the number of black cocaine users (1.13 million vs. 0.32 million).

Racial inequities in arrest and prosecution of drug offenders

Racial profiling and racial inequities in the prosecution and sentencing of persons for drug offenses has had a dramatic and negative impact on the black community in the U.S.

U.S. population: 13% are black
Drug users: 13% are black
Those arrested on drug charges: 37% are black
Those convicted of drug offenses: 55% are black
Those sentenced for drug offenses: 74% are black

The above data show that blacks are not disproportionately represented in the population of drug users. However, they are disproportionately represented in the arrest process and the disproportion increases at each stage thereafter.

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Reply The War on Drugs is really just a war on Black People [View all]
MrScorpio Oct 2012 OP
porphyrian Oct 2012 #1
dchill Oct 2012 #2
Iris Oct 2012 #3
limpyhobbler Oct 2012 #4
theinquisitivechad Oct 2012 #5
Fumesucker Oct 2012 #9
Igel Oct 2012 #11
msongs Oct 2012 #6
porphyrian Oct 2012 #10
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #13
porphyrian Oct 2012 #14
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #16
porphyrian Oct 2012 #20
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #24
porphyrian Oct 2012 #27
rurallib Oct 2012 #19
truebluegreen Oct 2012 #25
uponit7771 Oct 2012 #18
vaberella Oct 2012 #31
Lionessa Oct 2012 #7
vaberella Oct 2012 #32
former-republican Oct 2012 #8
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #12
Aerows Oct 2012 #15
ismnotwasm Oct 2012 #17
quinnox Oct 2012 #21
Tanuki Oct 2012 #22
porphyrian Oct 2012 #23
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 #29
porphyrian Oct 2012 #30
ananda Oct 2012 #26
porphyrian Oct 2012 #28