Trump’s ruthless war on drugs
April 18, 2017
OPINION by ALLAN COOPER
Drug use, particularly opioid use, has gone on unabated (in fact increased) in this country in spite of draconian laws criminalizing its possession or use. More than 2 million people are incarcerated in the United States and half are there for so-called drug “crimes.”
Particularly deplorable is the fact that enforcement of these laws is far from color blind. Whites are the nation’s biggest drug users yet African Americans are the largest group being targeted.
Now Trump has declared a new, more “ruthless” war on drugs and his sidekick Jeff Sessions (who reputedly has racist tendencies) will be the new “enforcer.” So, in addition to current pressures to crack down on undocumented workers, systemic racism is being resuscitated through the reinstitution of ineffective and costly drug laws targeting minorities.
Drug use must be treated as a health problem. It should not be treated as a problem for the police and the courts to handle because, as we all know, our justice system has been shown to administer laws unfairly when people of color are involved.