Born and raised in Cook County, Illinois, the friends I had and the life I enjoyed would earn me the label of long-haired, jean jacket wearing Deadhead, by some. Being lumped into a stereotype often has disadvantages, and I was an indignant witness to many atrocious casualties of the failed War on Drugs, specifically regarding marijuana. The shakedown always feels imminent, even today.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News
In the United States, marijuana arrests, prosecutions, and convictions have wrought havoc on both individuals and communities, causing direct harm and resulting in dire collateral consequences including affecting eligibility for public housing and student financial aid, employment opportunities, child custody determinations, and immigration status.
Marijuana convictions can also subject people to more severe charges and sentences if they should ever be arrested for or convicted of another crime. In addition, the targeted enforcement of marijuana laws disproportionately against people of color, and the unsettling, humiliating experience such enforcement entails, creates community mistrust of the police, reduces police-community cooperation, and compromises public safety.
Just this week, writer Dan Baum published a story for the April 2016 issue of Harper’s. Former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Baum that “the Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people.” This isn’t surprising considering how “The War on Drugs” was soon to come.