As America celebrates and commemorates Black History Month, it’s important to remember exactly how Black Americans have been disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system in our country. From the crack vs. cocaine sentencing disparities to the fact that Black Americans are on average four times as likely to be wrongfully convicted of a serious crime based on statistics provided by the Innocence Project and the many ways that cannabis prohibition has directly damaged and devastated Black communities, these punishments and subsequent penalties have ranged from unjust to clearly unconstitutional.
Besides the countless examples of unjust and unnecessary sentencing and policing practices that unfairly targeted Black communities across generations, the longest lasting impact of President Richard Nixon’s trillion-dollar and multi-decade failure was the creation of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Formed in 1973 and serving as the successor to the equally as unnecessarily authoritarian Federal Bureau of Narcotics which itself was founded by the most notorious yet influential prohibitionist of them all, Harry Anslinger, the DEA was the enforcement arm of the endless draconian policies of the Drug War that only increased in severity as both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton took office. Worse even, both George H.W. Bush and his
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