Cocaine is a hellava drug

The United Nations put the latest report on the international drug trade last week:

From 2008 World Drug Report:

The drug problem is being contained but there are warning signs that the stabilization which has occurred over the last few years could be in danger. Notable amongst these is the increase in both opium poppy and coca cultivation in 2007, some growth in consumption in developing countries and some development of new trafficking patterns. There have also been encouraging contractions in some of the main consumer markets. This year, almost one hundred years since the Shanghai Opium Commission in 1909, the Report presents an historical review of the development of the international drug control system.

While Richard Nixon coined the term in 1971, in the United States the War on Drugs really started in 1880 after agreement with China to stop importation of opium. Today the United States spends an estimated $12 billion on "drug control" and another $30 billion on incarcerating drug offenders.

But as we all know, drug offences disproportionately affect the poor and people of color in this country.

From the Sentencing Project:

The enormous racial disparity in who goes to prison also surrounds the crack cocaine sentencing debate. Over 80 percent of the men and women serving time for federal crack cocaine offenses are African American, despite the fact that two-thirds of crack users are white or Hispanic. The strategy of the war on drugs has largely targeted black and minority communities, so Congress’s mandatory penalties have a disproportionate impact on people of color. The Sentencing Commission’s own findings conclude that reducing the mandatory sentences for crack cocaine would lessen racial disparity in federal prisons and improve public perceptions of fairness within the criminal justice system.

Momentum has emerged over the last year to address the hastily passed law. At the end of last year, a U.S. Supreme Court decision acknowledged the legitimacy of the crack cocaine sentencing controversy and the Sentencing Commission amended the sentencing guidelines governing crack cocaine offenses. As a result of the commission’s action, 7,000 prisoners have received sentence reductions since March.



At Monday, July 07, 2008 5:35:00 AM, Blogger loveandtheplanet said...

Well, what's Whitney Houston doing these days? Maybe she should run a charity to steer people away from drugs, whether by education, persuasion, or compulsion? Or is she still playing with the perils of liberalism made possible by the easy food from industrial farming?


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