Guest Author - Cassandra George Sturges
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, suggested that America is responsible for the drug war in Mexico due to our “insatiable demand for illegal drugs. The Obama administration has budgeted 700 million dollars to increase law enforcement at the US border and decrease the demand for illicit drugs in the United States.
Why not just legalize all drugs to reduce the violence and other crimes associated with drug usage in America? This would immediately eliminate the drug dealers, smuggling narcotics across the borders, and gang related murders and crimes over drug related territory. If we legalize drugs the American economy would go into a deeper recession more traumatic, with longer detrimental consequences than the demise of the auto industry.
Think about all of the law enforcement workers that include judges, lawyers, police officers, court officers, court file clerks who would become unemployed; researchers estimate that at least a half of a million (500,000) of people in jail and federal prisons is directly related to drug charges that does not include a violent crime or property theft.
Although African Americans make up 12.5% of the U.S. population, over 70% of children in the foster care system are African Americans with the majority of the neglect and abuse cases being related to the mother being addicted to drugs. I worked in the foster care system for over 13 years and if it was not for many mothers using crack (or being addicted to alcohol) while pregnant, I may have not had a job. What is interesting though is that there were rarely cases in my community in metropolitan Detroit or in my doctoral dissertation research on “the at-risk factors of mothers whose children are removed from the parental home” were there many white children removed from the home due to the mother’s usage of illegal drugs although studies indicate that pregnant mothers of all ethnic groups use illegal drugs at a similar rate.
Generally speaking, several studies show that over 70% of illegal drug users are white in comparison to 23% of blacks. However, 58% of those incarcerated with drug charges are black, in comparison to 15% of whites. So basically, most research finds that black people are more likely to sell drugs and white people are more likely to use drugs.
The current judicial system and laws related to drugs criminalizes the majority of people of color as being “bad, wrong or immoral” for selling drugs; yet on the other hand, it victimizes and unintentionally encourage white people to use drugs by allowing them to avoid “personal accountability and responsibility” for their choice to use illegal drugs. People of color go to jail and white people go to rehab.
Many products and services in the penile system have been privatized and is now over a 10 billion dollar a year industry. Some towns could not survive economically if it were not for the prison population where many of the people in the community are employed by the prison. Many phone companies make money from collect calls that prisoners make to thier family and friends.
Since the majority of illegal drugs are used by white people, why won’t the government step in and regulate marijuana, cocaine and other illicit drugs to make it safer for consumption and stop minorities from killing each other to make money from selling drugs to white people? Because then we would not be able to use our prison labor force to make products and services or keep highways and communities clean at slave wages.
Secondly, if people of color were the primary consumers of illegal drugs, it would not be financially beneficial for corporate America because they would not make nearly as much money selling it to a small portion of society who is much more valuable to the economy in the judicial, penile and child welfare system. The most potent and powerful weapon that is used in the illusionary war-on-drugs is racism. In many African American urban communities stores that sell liquor reside almost on every other corner.
Thirdly, where would we build legal drug shops such as cocaine cafes, marijuana dens and opium houses that would allow upstanding white citizens to travel safely to purchase their drug of choice; yet, still be able save face as moral, productive citizens in the community? Would mainstream America be willing to tell their children that it is psychologically and physically healthy to snort cocaine and smoke marijuana? Like cigarettes and alcohol ads, would there be a marketing campaign with young, attractive white people consuming drugs?
Fourthly, if we legalize drugs we must also validate the behavioral characteristics of people who use drugs as being acceptable and honorable. We could then no longer criticize drug users as being lazy and unproductive citizens.