Deconstructing Institutionalized Racism
Contrary to its contrived positioning, the "War on Drugs" was never designed to prevent drug trafficking or detour usage. It was designed as a mechanism for marginalizing, controlling, and oppressing people of color. We now have tapes of Nixon discussing this intention, as well as plenty of other shocking details.
In June 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy (Switzerland) released a critical report on the War on Drugs, declaring: "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world."
- America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, by leaps and bounds (2016: 2,205,300)
- 599,282 of those people were charged solely with possession of marijuana.
- The percentage of people arrested for drug law violations who are Black or Latino is 46.9%, despite making up just 31.5% of the U.S. population.
- Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.
I could list more statistics, but the level and volume of absurdly destructive policies, stats, and laws around drugs (especially cannabis) in this country is enough to make one physically ill. I'll refrain.
I'm so excited to report that this week, US Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Kamala Harris of California introduced their Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act.
The bill would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act.
Most importantly, the bill would work to repair the destruction caused by the true nature of the war on drugs in the areas most affected. Think of it as a form of reparations for intentionally destabilizing and oppression non-whites.
Senator Harris has the ability, courage, and the momentum to pull this off. Being elected as president would surely confirm this, but short of that, we need a movement to make this happen. And now we're at a tipping point.
The war on drugs is the single most degrading and destructive mechanism for oppressing and destabilizing people of color that is still in existence in America today. De-scheduling marijuana would change the fabric of American society forever.
Imagine hundreds of thousands of fathers and husbands being released from prison, going home to their families and getting their record expunged. Imagine how profoundly that will affect American culture as a whole.
In April of 2019, California prosecutors move to clear 54,000 marijuana convictions in California. It's already happening.
Not to mention the fact that we can take our health and vitality into our own hands and out of the control of Big Pharma.
Cannabis decriminalization is also a path to rectifying our horrific opioid problem in America (that takes over 70,000 lives per year).
It will take time, but it’s so important for the freedom, vitality, and democracy of our country, and the world.
There are scores of great documentaries articulating the truth about cannabis. I have most of them listed on my Inspiration & Education page on my Noetic podcast website. I also list quite a few documentaries on black history, civil rights, oppression of people of color, etc. (Please watch 13th on Netflix.)
This isn’t just an issue of legalizing a medicinal plant for the benefit of our health. That’s important, but secondary to the fact that this bill would serve as a pivotal contribution to deconstructing institutionalized racism and classism in America.
Please support the vitality and freedom of our collective future by supporting this pivotal bill.
Press Release detailing the implications of The MORE Act for our country and for people of color.
Read the Leafly article, The MORE Act Calls for Sweeping Changes in Federal Cannabis Law
Read the ACLU report, THE WAR ON MARIJUANA IN BLACK AND WHITE.
Follow and Support NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)