War On Drugs is A War On Black People
In 2013, our partners, Transform, commissioned renowned pollsters Ipsos MORI to gauge the UK public’s support for drug policy reform.
The results revealed that over half of the public (53%) support cannabis legalisation (legal regulation of production and supply) or decriminalisation of possession of cannabis. Only 1 in 7 support heavier penalties and more being spent on enforcement for cannabis offences. In addition, the survey showed that around two thirds (67%) support a comprehensive independent review of all the possible policy options (from legal market regulation to tougher enforcement) for controlling drugs.
The findings indicate that 45% of midmarket newspaper readers (including Daily Mail and Express readers) support cannabis legalisation or decriminalisation of possession of cannabis, with less than one in five (17%) supporting heavier penalties and more being spent on enforcement for cannabis offences. For tabloid readers, these figures are 47% and 20% respectively. Around 65% of midmarket newspaper readers and 66% of tabloid readers support a full review of all drug policy options.
The Jasper, Ahmun, Perera Report into the extent to which the War on drugs is in effect a war on Black people took the argument further. It showed that members of the Black communities believe that even if cannabis and other drugs were legalized, the war on them would continue in some other form. This essentially means that the extent to which punitive drugs laws adversely result in the disproportionate arrest, detainment and death of Black people whilst in custody cannot be separated out from the encompassing issue of structural racism and inequality. Equally, that health and economic issues are at least as important to Black communities as the legalization agenda issue is to liberals.