Blacks in Government Say War on Drugs Is Racist

National organization joins with other African-Americans who are increasingly speaking out against unfair drug laws.

Posted: 09/02/2011 11:16 AM EDT
Filed Under racism

Another Black organization has added its voice to the growing number of groups and individuals who are publicly calling for the end of America’s war on drugs.

The National Organization of Blacks in Government (BIG) adopted a resolution that acknowledged U.S. drug policy as racially biased and suggested alternatives to the harsh punishments now in place for drug related offenses.

Among other bold requests, the resolution asks for “a federal investigation for solutions to eliminate the pretense and continued arrest and incarceration of African-Americans at extraordinarily disparate rates for drug related charges.”

The group represents the interests of African-American government employees at the federal, state and local levels and among its ranks are U.S. Marshals and former DEA agents who all support the resolution.

“I personally witnessed racially biased enforcement procedures when I ran a joint DEA task force,” said Matthew Fogg, a former U.S. marshal and former BIG national first vice president. “When I requested equal enforcement of upscale suburban areas, I met internal resistance.”

In July, the NAACP made a similar move and passed its own resolution calling for the end of the drug war and asking government to shift the focus to substance abuse treatment and education. The call for the end of drug criminalization and drug law reform has also been echoed by other organizations such as the National Black Police Association and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and is gaining momentum.

“The war on drugs has put Blacks behind bars for drug offenses at more than ten times the rate of whites, even though the evidence consistently shows that Blacks are no more likely to use or sell currently illicit drugs than whites are,” Fogg added. “It is time to end this virtual race war.”

(Photo: John Gress/Reuters)

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