As President Trump aims to be tough on crime and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who once infamously said "good people don't smoke marijuana," looks to be just as punitive, it seems that the War on Drugs is poised to expand. In February, Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated just that by saying, "I do believe that you'll see greater enforcement [on recreational marijuana]."
We know that people of color have been historically targeted for non-violent drug offenses. We know that if criminalizing drugs - even minor ones like marijuana - were the solution to crime, we wouldn't be seeing the problems we have today. We wouldn’t see a need to expand the effort unless this method of criminalization is actually adding to the problem. We also know that if we legalize, tax, and regulate drugs, they will become safer, and our prison population - specifically of inmates of color - will significantly drop.
But Trump and Sessions want to take us in the opposite direction. They want to expand a failed, ineffective policy that has criminalized people of color for non-violent, harmless acts - many in survival.
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