Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NAACP calls for an end to the war on drugs

By David Edwards
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 -- 4:47 pm

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is officially calling on the U.S. government to end the war on drugs.

A majority of NAACP delegates at their annual convention in Los Angeles Tuesday voted to pass a resolution titled: "A Call to End the War on Drugs, Allocate Funding to Investigate Substance Abuse Treatment, Education, and Opportunities in Communities of Color for A Better Tomorrow."

"Today the NAACP has taken a major step towards equity, justice and effective law enforcement," NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous said in a press advisory. "These flawed drug policies that have been mostly enforced in African American communities must be stopped and replaced with evidenced-based practices that address the root causes of drug use and abuse in America."

The resolution noted that African Americans are 13 times more likely to be sentenced to jail than whites facing the same drug charges.

"Studies show that all racial groups abuse drugs at similar rates, but the numbers also show that African Americans, Hispanics and other people of color are stopped, searched, arrested, charged, convicted, and sent to prison for drug-related charges at a much higher rate," California State Conference of the NAACP president Alice Huffman said.

"This dual system of drug law enforcement that serves to keep African-Americans and other minorities under lock and key and in prison must be exposed and eradiated."

More than 1200 NAACP units across the country will be encouraged to advocate for an end to the drug war once the resolution is ratified in October.

President Barack Obama said last week that he was not willing to "pursue a decriminalization strategy."

Photo credit: Flickr

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