Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Drug War Racism

This is what the Drug War looks like in New York City.

From 1978 to 1996, there were 49,326 marijuana possession arrests, according to an analysis for the alliance done by Harry Levine, a sociology professor at Queens College and an expert on marijuana enforcement.

The increased enforcement, the policy alliance says, is due not to increasing consumption, but to harsher enforcement.

“Over the last 20 years, N.Y.P.D. has quietly made arrests for marijuana their top enforcement priority, without public acknowledgment or debate,” the group said.

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.”
What a juicy issue for Democrats to run on. Do you think, given their current straightened circumstances, that they will pass up an opportunity to seriously hurt the Republicans with this issue? Me either.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Neil said...

I doubt it.

The black vote is a solid bloc for the democrats, but they require money to grease the wheels to get out their vote. The urban hipster/student is an important source of volunteers, but again they require funds.

With Wall Street and Jewish professionals (among others) hanging on to their wallets, the Democratic Party's cash flow comes largely from government employee unions. Those unions represent (among others) the same people that enforce drug prohibition. Drug enforcement is an integral part of a key donor constituency. The Democrats can't make more than rhetorical feints in that direction.

It's another one of those quirks of coalition politics, and why repeal movements never get very far. You're more likely to see some change under a Republican austerity government.

M. Simon said...

Ah. Your error is that you think like a Republican. You believe in honesty.

The Democrats will use this as an election tactic and not follow through.

What I expect is that the Ds will change the terms of the debate and the Rs will do the heavy lifting.

M. Simon said...

How to demoralize the Rs:

The Drug War
1. Is unconstitutional
2. Is racist in enforcement
3. Abuses abused children

The Rs (socons esp.) have no answer to the above because it is all true (to a greater or lesser extent).

And independents?

Who wants to hang with abusers of abused children or those promoting racism?

The Constitution for most of them? Too theoretical.

Neil said...

Ah, I at least understand your reasoning now.