Hold The Drug War Accountable For Financial Reparations, Relating To Cannabis Offenders
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 07/28/2016 in Medical Marijuana Legalization
The Drug War is a colossal failure, and with cannabis legalization some mere steps away from becoming a reality as the movement continues to gain support and momentum at an exponential rate, the focus is now turning to means and ways for the Drug War to be accountable for financial reparations, that will ultimately be used to help undo the prejudiced damage it has done.
We now know that the War on Drugs was actually created as a mechanism for targeting minority groups, and individuals who opposed “the establishment”, after it was exposed by a Nixon aide, earlier this year.
“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders. Raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night, on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did,” said former Nixon domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman, in an interview with Harper magazine.
The statement, while shocking, simply confirmed what many people already believed to be true, redirecting the focus and conversation back onto the disastrous effects, the catastrophic drug policy of four decades, has had on our society.
Did You Know?
The United States spends more than $51 billion, enforcing drug laws, every year. In 2014, the U.S. arrested more than 1.2 million people, on possession drug charges alone — 620,000 of which, were related specifically to cannabis.
That means that 1 in every 111 adults in the United States, are in jail as a result of the war on drugs. However, although all ethnicities consume roughly the same amount of cannabis, people of color are four times more likely to be arrested, and receive a higher conviction, if caught or busted.
The Drug War has consistently targeted low-income communities and communities of color, and as a result of this racially charged policy, these communities suffer in a multitude of ways including individual’s not being able to find gainful employment after incarceration, or being eligible for services such as loans, or social programs, etc. The Drug War has effectively prevented these communities from prospering.
How Cannabis Legalization Could Help Right The Drug War’s Wrong
People are calling for legalization, for a number of reasons, including health, freedom of rights, money, etc., leaving the idea of racial inequality to take a back seat, in this debate — but its time to flip the tables, and give this injustice the priority it needs, to right the wrong’s of the disastrous Drug War.
A war that should also be responsible for making reparations to the demographic of people who were negatively impacted, as a result of it.
Perhaps a percentage of the taxes generated from legal cannabis sales should be invested into these communities in the form of education and training that will help establish businesses that will ultimately elevate the community.
At the end of the day, the legalization of cannabis will do more than just bring in tax revenue for the state, and help people manage their pain, it could also forge the way by setting a precedent in requiring reparations for a policy that was demographically designed to oppress specific minorities, social classes and races of color.
Given all these individuals, and their families have been through, wouldn’t you agree, that it is the least prohibition could do!