War On Drugs

The "War on Drugs" is a term commonly applied to a set of U.S. policies that were enacted under the guise of discouraging the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal psychoactive drugs. The term was first used by U.S. president Ronald Reagan, and was later popularized by the media. In 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy declared that the global war on drugs had failed.

The NYPD’s “New Low” That’s Not So New

nypd profiling muslims

Soya Jung: From the War on Crime to the War on Drugs to the War on Terror, increasingly, this us-versus-them way of sorting humanity is what “makes” race today, by dictating whose lives are safeguarded by the alleged American promise of freedom and democracy, and whose are not.

Where I Come From

soya jung

Soya Jung: There are many different paths to political consciousness. But it always happens as part of asking ourselves, “Why?” and fighting alongside others to change the conditions in which we find ourselves.

The Atrophied Conscience of Apartheid America

stop and frisk

Mark Naison: What is daily life for young people of color who are poor is quite literally out of sight and out of mind, and thereby unimaginable, not only for middle class and wealthy residents of cities, but for the mayors of thoses cities.

Racial Justice in the Criminal Justice System

Black Man

Sharon Kyle: While most Americans are cognizant of the disproportionate representation of Black and Brown men in our prisons, fewer are aware of criminal justice system’s selective enforcement of laws and selective use of penalties which often results in racially biased outcomes.

Coca: One More Thing US Drugs Policy Gets Wrong

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Diane Lefer: In Bolivia, as in much of the Andes, people understand that coca leaves are not the same as cocaine. The leaves, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, are used for tea, in candies, in flour for baking cakes, as an anaesthetic, and in beverages.

The New Jim Crow: Our Role in Incarceration Nation

Michelle Alexander

Diane Lefer: Judge Gray referred to Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who, in looking at the entire criminal justice system in which we hold the world record for the number of people incarcerated, concluded either we are the most evil people in the world or we are doing something seriously wrong.

Amnesty Shmamnesty

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Adam Eran: Would the oligarchy that is the military-industrial-prison-media complex stoop so low as to incite a war, even promoting Iran as a backwater deserving of U.S. “shellacking”? And is the Pope really Catholic?

Losing the Drug War

Adam Eran: Criminalizing drug consumption, rather than bad behavior, leads to enormous corruption–both domestic and international–and disrespect for the law.

First Solve Prison Crisis, Then Fix California’s Budget

Gary Gilmore

Dick Price: To get a handle on the damage California’s current approach to incarceration is having on its citizens, consider this: In a recent 23-year period, California erected 23 prisons—one a year, each costing roughly $100 million dollars annually to operate, with both Democratic and Republican governors occupying the statehouse—at the same time that it added just one campus to its vaunted university system, UC Merced.

How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste

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Michelle Alexander: The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades — they are currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs.

Obama’s Base Pact with Colombia Accelerates Dangerous Trend

Colombia FARC

Sherwood Ross: Although much of Latin America is in the vanguard of the “anti-corporate and anti-militarist global democracy movement,” Grandin writes, the Obama administration is “disappointing potential regional allies by continuing to promote a volatile mix of militarism and free-trade orthodoxy in a corridor running from Mexico to Colombia.” Grandin’s article in The Nation’sFebruary 8th issue is titled, “Muscling Latin America.”