At its annual convention in Los Angeles, the NAACP has passed what it’s calling a historic resolution that calls for an end to the war on drugs.
The headline is likely to make critics of the organization’s agenda wonder whether this is a case of misplaced priorities, given the dire economic circumstances of African Americans in this country. But the NAACP makes a strong case for why it’s an urgent issue, noting that blacks are 13 times more likely to go to jail for the same drug-related offense than their white counterparts.
As a result, Robert Rooks, director of the NAACP Criminal Justice Program, says the war on drugs has created “a system of racial disparities that rivals Jim Crow policies of the 1960s.”
Indeed, the resolution comes against the backdrop of new data showing widened racial disparities in enforcement of drug laws within the U.S. “Today the NAACP has taken a major step towards equity, justice and effective law enforcement,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said in a statement Monday. “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.”
Read more at CBS News.
In other news: 5 Years’ Probation for Malcolm X’s Daughter.