NAACP Tells the White House to End the War on Drugs

NAACP Tells the White House to End the War on Drugs

The so-called war on drugs has been a failure of colossal proportions — from both racial and preventive standpoints — and the NAACP passed a resolution demanding President Obama and Congress end the program altogether.

The overall message of the resolution is captured by its title: A Call to End the War on Drugs, Allocate Funding to Investigate Substance Abuse Treatment, Education, and Opportunities in Communities of Color for a Better Tomorrow.

Studies show that all racial groups abuse drugs at similar rates, but the numbers also show that African Americans, Hispanics and other people of color are stopped, searched, arrested, charged, convicted, and sent to prison for drug-related charges at a much higher rate,” stated Alice Huffman, president of the California State Conference of the NAACP. “This dual system of drug law enforcement that serves to keep African-Americans and other minorities under lock and key and in prison must be exposed and eradicated.”

Moreover, as NAACP President Ben Jealous points out, the United States spends more than $40 billion a year on the war on drugs, but its having little impact, making limited headway if at all, and the war on drugs locks up mostly low-level drug offenders from mostly communities of colors. Meanwhile, the barons who own the drug farms, the planes and the ships that get the drugs into the country, continue to evade detection and capture.

Today the NAACP has taken a major step towards equity, justice and effective law enforcement,” said Jealous. “These flawed drug policies that have been mostly enforced in African American communities must be stopped and replaced with evidenced-based practices that address the root causes of drug use and abuse in America.”

The NAACP admonishes the government to appropriate the billions expended and wasted on low- level offenders toward the creation and expansion of rehabilitation and treatment programs, methadone clinics, and other treatment protocols that have scientifically-backed data to prove its effectiveness.

We know that the war on drugs has been a complete failure because in the forty years that we’ve been waging this war. Drug use and abuse has not gone down,” says Robert Rooks, director of the NAACP criminal justice program. “The only thing we’ve accomplished is becoming the world’s largest incarcerator, sending people with mental health and addiction issues to prison, and creating a system of racial disparities that rivals Jim Crow policies of the 1960s.”

terry shropshire

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