The Honest Truth
Since President Nixon established the Drug Enforcement Agency in 1971 and declared the
War on Drugs, minorities have been arrested in disproportionate numbers for non-violent drug crimes, making up a majority of our prison population.
More than 700,000 people were arrested for possession of marijuana last year;
thats more than murder, rape, and robbery COMBINED.
"The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people.
We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.
Did we know we were lying about the drugs?
Of course we did.”
John Ehrlichman Nixon's Domestic Policy Advisor
Number of incarcerated persons in the US
People arrested on drug related charges this year
People arrested for cannabis related violations
Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend:
significant racial bias.
Despite roughly equal usage rates,
Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.
White America does the crime.
Black America does the time.
“In a free society, how can you commit a crime against yourself?”
- Jesse Ventura
Where Do We Stand Now?
Colorado's introduction of marijuana is already bringing in more than $30 million of taxable revenue a month — leading to upwards of $7.5 million of tax revenue. The Drug Policy Alliance estimates that California could raise $1.4 billion annually in extra revenue when it taxes and regulates the sale of marijuana.
Though legalization has begun in certain state governments it will not be possible to undo the damage that has been caused until a full federal end to prohibition takes place. Even then those with prior arrest and criminal records due to non-violent drug charges will be unable to partake in the lucrative economy being created under legalization.
SUCCESSFUL BALLOT INITIATIVES
Thanks to the tireless work of our friends at organizations like the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project, legislation has been successfully passed in numerous states.