Friday, June 17, 2011

help end the "war on drugs" and mass criminalization

Video - Nixon enlists governors' aid to wage war on drugs.

Evolver | Join us in a peaceful protest to help end the war on drugs! We will be carrying picket signs and handing out literature to garner support for our cause by those who are most affected by failed drug policy.

June 17th marks the 40th anniversary of the War on Drugs declared by Richard Nixon in 1971. This devastating, trillion dollar policy resulted in the ruin of countless individuals and families across the nation. It disproportionately criminalized minorities leaving wounds felt by three generations. For decades, we have stood by and watched as mainstream America gawks at the number of minority prisoners in the US. We joke and conjecture at potential causes for the disappearance of Black men over lattes. Blaming everything from evolution to upbringing, our policy makers have all but ignored the elephant in the room, our grossly discriminatory and aggressive criminal justice policy. We believe it is time for a change. No longer will we allow our fathers, uncles, brothers, husbands, wives, children, and grand children to be "acceptable casualties" of the war on drugs.

A few facts for your consideration:

• Given current rates of incarceration, three in ten of the next generation of black men can expect to be disenfranchised at some point in their lifetime. In states that disenfranchise ex-offenders, as many as 40% of black men may permanently lose their right to vote.

Sentencing Project, "Felony Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States," (Washington, DC: March 2010), p. 1.

Between 2006 and 2008 people of color were between 4 and 12 times as likely to be arrested for a marijuana related offense than whites. This disparity in the arrest rate was found in all cities and all counties in California, and was averaged over three years to remove any one year statistical anomalies.

Source: Drug Policy Alliance

African Americans have been admitted to prison on drug charges at a rate up to 57 times higher than whites. In some states, 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison have been African American. The rate of Latino imprisonment has been staggering as well. Although the majority of illegal drug users and dealers are white, three-fourths of all people imprisoned for drug offenses have been black and Latino.


2,424,279 or 1 in every 99.1 adults were behind bars in 2009 in federal, state and local prisons and jails, the highest incarceration rate in the world.

2/3 of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison are black or Hispanic, although these groups use and sell drugs at similar rates as whites.

Video - Nixon declares victory in the war on drugs.


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