The war on drugs is far more than a losing battle. It's a farce, a money pit, and a platform that has often been used by politicians who claim to be "tough on crime". This code, or catch phrase has been repeated over and over again by eager politician's to assure America that African-American's will be well regulated by the system. This continued proclamation, accompanied by mass media imagery of African-Americans as the sole perpetrators of all crime, and the representatives of lawlessness, create a stereotype which resonates in the psyche of U.S citizens.
To date the United States Federal government has spent more than15 Billion dollars fighting the so called war on drugs, at a rate of $500 per second.
Approximately 500,000 people are incarcerated as a result of drug offenses compared to 41,000 in 1980. Four out of every five drug arrests are for simple possession, and 80% are for marijuana. Studies show that most of those arrested are non violent offenders. As of this writing there are more than 7,000,000 people behind bars, on probation, or on parole in the United States. Arrests for minor drugs offenses have become a gateway into a life of crime for many, whose felony status has relegated them to being underclass citizens who are not allowed to reintegrate into society. The fact that they have felony records allows for legal discrimination, and prejudice. In effect denying most ex offenders the rights that most of us take for granted.
Local Police Department's patrolling the African-American inner city take a hyper-vigilant, aggressive, and often violent stance which is absolutely not tolerated in the white community. In these communities the rights of African-American's are often ignored, and applied on a discretionary basis. Selective enforcement, railroading and plea bargaining make up the foundation of this injustice. As a result, despite the fact that whites are just as likely to use illegal drugs as Blacks, 1 out of every 14 black men is behind bars for drugs, while only 1 in 106 white men is behind bars for the same crimes. As a result of the Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1986, higher sentences were imposed for offenders who were arrested for possession of crack cocaine. Historically most of the offenders arrested for possession of crack cocaine are Black and account for a staggering 82% of all crack cocaine related related arrests. African-Americans sentenced for crack cocaine receive a 43.5% longer sentence than those sentenced for powder cocaine offenses. These figures prove that the so called " War on Drugs" is really a war waged against people of color.