War on Drugs

Topics: African American, Race and Ethnicity, Racism Pages: 6 (2405 words) Published: March 7, 2013
Research Paper <1> for GOVT 2302.001 Spring 2013
The policies that constitute “War on Drugs” are primarily based on racism due to biased policies, Jim Crow laws, and racial bias. Since America has been knowledgeable of the problems drugs bring upon the public the government has attempted to fight against drugs, however every fight is not fair. War is defined as a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation, however can war be based upon race? Or can war even exist if there is not a clear enemy. When you take the word war and glue it to the relations with drugs, racism becomes a factor. The so-called “war on drugs” is just a pretty way of saying war against the Africa Americans families. During the 1980s drugs infested the public and became a major issue. The public began to get concern with the consequences that began to increase higher than ever. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse states that cocaine was mostly commonly used in 1985. It was clear that there had to be something done in order to reduce the consequences. That was when the so-called “War on Drugs” began, yet the war came with baggage. The war on drugs delivered the police system to be racially bias. Racial bias also plays a role in factoring that the policies of the war on drugs are constituted by racism. Law enforcement is given legal discretion in regards of who to stop, search, arrest and charge for drug offenses. This can be proven because there is a high statistic of African American incarcerated than there are white people. Many police would always suspect African American males and usually bias towards them. The only possible reasoning for this action is that targeting by race can predict the type of drug. Searching African Americans cars has resulted in more productive in terms of quantities of drugs. On the other hand, on an average police has been successful in detecting drugs through searches on twenty-five percent of the time. As a result seventy-five percent of the drivers were innocent, yet downgraded by the roadside searches. One out of every three Black male in their twenties is now in prison or jail, on probation. African Americans are only thirteen percent of all drug users, nevertheless thirty-five percent are arrested for drug possession. Note that fifty-five percent of those are convicted and seventy-four are sent to prison. African American males are sentenced to prison for drug offenses at rates from twenty to fifty-seven times greater than White males. Forty-six percent of the male African American population is incarcerated. The uneven arrests feed the fire to racial profiling that Blacks uses drugs at higher rates than Whites. A former drug czar once stated, “The typical cocaine user is white, male, a high school graduate employed full time and living in a small metropolitan area or suburb.” Nevertheless, the media misleads the society by providing bias entertainment. In the Court case of Whren v United States the defendants argued that the officers pulling them over had been unjustified. The officers did not have probable cause, or probable suspicion. The officers had been patrolling a “high drug area” and had seen the Pathfinder truck that the defendants were driving. The defendants were stopped at a light and when they noticed the unmarked car the driver looked to the right. This does not justify the right to pull the defendants over. The defendants claimed that the officers were racially biased because they were in a “high drug area” and the defendants were also African Americans. The officers had pulled the car over for a traffic violation, but he did not have probable suspicion. With the officer stopping the car for a traffic violation, it gives the officers the right to use the traffic stop to investigate any other violations. Therefore these officers determined that they would also search for contraband in the car and found cocaine. The...
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