Here’s something that all Americans should agree on: Many policies have a disproportionately negative effect on black families—and, by extension, on all of us. The most insidious of them all, however, may be the war on drugs.
While police have confirmed over 110 people killed, the number is likely higher with other bodies not related to police killings found in the streets with placards on them declaring that the person was involved in dealing drugs. Human rights groups have expressed concern that violence is quickly getting out of control and people are ignoring laws.
In one moment in “The Infiltrator,” Cranston’s character expresses surprise when his partner, played by John Leguizamo, says that he offered his informant $250,000 for information. Leguizamo responds, “No one said the war on drugs was going to be cheap, bro.”
Julian Zelizer, history professor and author of this piece, gets one thing glaringly wrong:
There is growing support, in the case of some drugs, to abandon a policy that revolved around locking up citizens and unintentionally fostering illegal drug markets, toward a set of regulatory and medical policies that can contain the problem.
These efforts won’t work for all kinds of drugs, given that some can be much more dangerous when used, not just to the user but those around them.
Really? How does making them illegal make them safer to the user and those around them? Even the most dangerous of drugs is safer to the world when regulated and controlled. The prime example is the government supplied heroin programs around the world that drastically reduce crime, death, and other negative side-effects.
No surprise, there.
In a rare instance of bipartisanship and compromise in Congress, the Senate on Wednesday passed legislation by a 92-2 vote that addresses the opioid epidemic. President Barack Obama, who in his State of the Union speech had ad-libbed a plea to lawmakers to do something about the crisis, will now have a bill to sign.
It’s not really a shift in our drug-war mindset, but more a focus on treatment without funding to go along with it, but I suppose that’s still progress.