2.05.2009

The Drug War, White Women and Racism

A Comment on Michael Phelps Drug Use....The Need to Legalize Drugs


America’s latest sports hero turns out to have feet of clay, just like the rest of them. They are simply human and caught up, just like the rest of us, except they have more money. Michael Phelps will swim through this like he cuts through water...

However, there is a deeper thing going on here....America’s bogus war on drugs. The war on drugs has been going on officially since 1875 in this country. That is when the first anti drug law was passed. It happened in San Francisco and it wasn’t about health or the fact that drugs are bad for you. It was about racism, like everything else in this country. The history of the war on drugs in America was begun because of prejudice against the Chinese.

In 1875, the first anti-drug law was passed because officials at the time were afraid of Chinese men luring white women into sexual activities by using opium. In the early 1900's, a “Negro Cocaine Fiend” was talked and written about as someone who was prone to violent sexual rampages, again, against white women. So cocaine went on the watch list as something to keep away from blacks. But it was still okay for white people.

Marijuana was outlawed in 1937. It was a law directly aimed at Mexican migrant workers who were crossing the borders to get jobs during the Great Depression Marijuana was supposed to promote violence within the so called “degenerate races”. However, nowhere in the history of the war on drugs is this violence in evidence. It’s never been verified even today in modern times. There is not one verified case anywhere in America of a marijuana fueled overdose or violent attack of some kind.

Any college student can tell you what happens when you smoke a joint. You get happy and hungry, that’s all. The American government puts out statistics that tell us that nearly all drug busts are for drug dealing.....That’s not true....Most drug busts...and you have to look at government stats unfiltered....and you will see that most drug busts are for having a joint...one joint...not dealing....just having some pot...on your person...or in your car... that's possession, not trafficking....And these people are being sent to jail...over and over and over...

Drug laws actually go back even further to the days of the “discovery” of America by the Spanish and Europeans. First Native Americans were conquered by the invading Europeans and Spanish, then they were victimized by the first anti drug laws created by the Spanish conquistadors bent on converting Native Americans to Christianity. Before Christopher Columbus thought he’d discovered America, Native Americans and their Mexican cousins practiced religion which included the use of hallucinogenic drugs derived from the peyote cactus. The drug is called mescaline.

Spanish explorers spent as much time trying to make religious converts as they did stealing land and killing people. The explorers equated mescaline use, not with religion, but with cannibalism and witchcraft. More lies to make their point. So they passed laws banning the chewing of the cactus plant. They successfully drove the religious practices underground for the next four centuries.

During the civil war a Native American Shaman brought back the practice and by mixing it with Christianity and a belief in Jesus, was able to spread the hybrid religion which used mescaline, to other tribes as far north as Canada. In 1918 the Native American Church was formed to preserve the peyote practices. However, states continued to pass laws making Native Americans felons for simply practicing their religious beliefs. In 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act, which specifically prohibited the use of peyote. Although the Native American Church was automatically issued an exemption, the possession of peyote became subject to federal regulation.

Up until 1990, federal courts refused to penalize Native Americans, by repeatedly affirming their right to sacramental use of peyote or mescaline, within the confines of the Native American Church, which had grown to have more than 250,000 members.

The war on drugs kicked up its intensity with the coming of the Reagans to the White House and passage of the Rockefeller drug laws with its unequal sentencing for powder and crack cocaine. The Rockefeller drug laws literally painted a target on the backs of black folks..Racial profiling remains the main tool of law enforcement when choosing their targets for prosecution and incarceration.

Black men are stopped for bogus traffic violations. It happens so often that it has a name-driving while Black. While Barack Obama has come out in favor of reforming these archaic drug laws, and for increasing funding for education, and treatment, this new approach will still not go far enough.

Decriminalization of Drugs and an immediate end to the bogus drug war is the only real way to approach this problem. Classic example is the prohibition of alcohol. The country had the same violent, money sucking problems trying to keep alcohol away from people. Even Al Capone favored prohibition, not because he didn’t like alcohol, but because he said it was a great way to make money. Take away the black market, make it legal....new tax base...reduction of violence in neighborhoods...Those who are going to be addicts....make them buy their weed from the state in state stores...just like liquor stores.....
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