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The Champion

December 2017 , Page 05 

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From the President: Coming and Going - Racial Disparity in the Punishment and Profit of Marijuana

By Rick Jones

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“[B]y 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.”1 This admission by John Ehrlichman, a domestic policy chief in the Nixon administration, is a rare acknowledgment of an unvarnished truth. Cutting through the rhetoric of lost communities, preyed-upon children and moral imperatives, Ehrlichman admits that a driving force of the War on Drugs was the ability to oppress people of color. Perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than in the country’s continuing policy toward marijuana. In 1972, the Shafer Commission recommended decriminalization of marijuana for personal use.2 The Commission was ignored by the Nixon administration.3 In place of decriminalization was bad policy that eq

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