NAACP Passes Historic Resolution To End Harmful, Racist War On Drugs

Today, at the NAACP Annual Convention in Los Angeles, CA, the National Association for the Advanced of Colored People (NAACP) passed a resolution calling for an end to the failed "War on Drugs," thus officially recognizing the failed drug war's racial bias. 

“Today the NAACP has taken a major step towards equity, justice and effective law enforcement,” said NAACP president and CEO Benjamin 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 resolution, titled “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” highlights the annual $40 billion the U.S. pumps into the harmful War on Drugs, as well as that African Americans are 13 times more likely to be jailed for drug-related crimes than white people. The group now calls for treatment - not incarceration -for drug offenders. 

“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,” said 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.”

In New York City alone, illegal stop-and-frisk procedures target Blacks and Latinos, who then make up 86% of marijuana arrests, despite whites' more frequent use of the plant. 

The drug war also often targets youth, criminalizing colored populations while they are still young and thus stifling upward mobility by blocking federal loans, housing, and career options. 

Now forty years old, the War on Drugs is expected to cost the United States $54 billion in 2011 alone. 

After the NAACP board of directors ratifies the resolution in October, the NAACP will mobilize to fight against the War on Drugs, hoping to put an end to the detrimental drug policies that incarcerate and segregate our country. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at July 26, 2011, 10:53am

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