top
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: North Bay / Marin | U.S. | Drug War
War on Drugs Rips Families Apart
by Demi Gray
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2018 3:10 PM
Treating drug addiction as crime rather than as a disease is causing more harm than good.
Treating drug addiction as crime rather than as a disease is causing more harm than good. The war on drugs is causing our jails to be overpopulated, with approximately 50% of inmates being in there due to drug offenses. It is no secret that the war on drugs has been a way to target African Americans, and keep them enslaved ever since the 13th amendment was passed.

This is evident when one looks at the drug laws of crack and cocaine. Crack has historically been found in lower-income and predominately African American neighborhoods while cocaine is a rich man’s drug and is found among white collar people.

While molecularly these drugs are identical- the punishment for them are very different- 18:1 to be exact. Someone found with 18 grams of cocaine is sentenced to the same amount of jail time as someone who is found with 1 gram of crack. Note that this just recently changed after the Fair Sentencing Act- it used to be 100:1. Bottom line is that the African American community is already at a disadvantage due to this country’s past, and treating drug addiction as a crime is just worsening it.

It’s ripping apart families, and leaving them without a possible “breadwinner”. Also, when the inmate is released, it is also harder for them to find a job due to their “criminal” label. Taking the money it costs to house an inmate in jail and investing it in rehab programs for these offenders would help this country and its people out in the long run.