Trump Has Found A New/Old Way To Target Minorities
Just yesterday the Trump administration was claiming they were pulling back on protections for trans kids because of states rights/ But all that states rights talk went right out the window later yesterday, when the topic turned to marijuana. That’s when Trump’s team needs to put their foot down hard. Because governors should decide whether trans school children deserved to be treated with simple human decency, but NO ONE should be able to get high on pot for fun.
In the past few years, states like Washington, Colorado, Washington DC, Massachusetts, California, Maine, Nevada, Alaska and Oregon have decriminalized pot use to varying degrees. But a federal law still proclaims the drug illegal. However, the Obama administration chose not to enforce the prohibition, and pot-related businesses in these states bloomed. But despite Trump being all Lord Business and a supposed proponent of states rights, his
Secretary of Misinformation White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced yesterday that the Obama policy of turning a blind eye would not continue.
“There’s a big difference between (medicinal use) and recreational marijuana and I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states across this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” Spicer said. “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by.”
This is the kind of thing that sounds great to conservatives. Drugs are bad. All drugs. And this drug is illegal, so treat it like it’s illegal!
Except marijuana is a woefully maligned drug. And the prohibition against it has less to do with its damaging effects on the human body, and way, way, way, more to do with oppressing minorities.
Adam Ruins Everything breaks it down:
Some key points:
Alcohol and tobacco, both legal drugs, have high annual death tolls. Pot has zero.
Pot being a “gateway drug” is a catchphrase, not a fact. “Most people who try marijuana, don’t even continue smoking marijuana.”
The reason the government made pot illegal had nothing to do with health risks. Instead, it was because of a budget-hungry bureaucrat, Federal Bureau of Narcotics commissioner Harry Anslinger, who ruthlessly created anti-weed propaganda that exploited a growing anti-Mexican sentiment.
When President Richard Nixon was in office, it was suggested the drug be decriminalized. But Nixon’s administration instead started the War on Drugs, to make it easier to imprison hippies and Black people, who he believed opposed his agenda.
This is the actual ‘holy fuck, how is this real life and not and over-the-top political thriller’ quote from Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman:
We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
You can learn even more about how the War on Drugs targets the Black community by watching The 13th. It’s on Netflix. It’s nominated for all the awards. It’s from Ava DuVernay. Do it.
But back the matter at hand: Trump’s team will go after pot smokers as a means of cracking down on protesters, arresting Brown people who might be undocumented immigrants, and Black people who (coincidentally) don’t tend to vote Republican. As Adam Connover makes clear, “Nixon started the War on Drugs to bully his political enemies and minorities.” And now Trump is following that playbook.
So even if you don’t toke, this is a Trump policy that demands protest.
Source: The New York Post