Blog Rating

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Legalize It : Drugs or Slavery

On Wednesday May 20th Pete Bianco and your's truly, David Bass Dancy, will host the first in a series of community conversations regarding decriminalization of drugs at The Other Side 2011 Genesee St Utica N.Y..
We have taken the time to gather community leaders involved in law enforcement addiction counseling and politics. We even invited an expert on Racial Justice (I wonder why?)
To us, it's obvious our current policies are meant to simply lock people up. More often than not they are overwhelmingly poor, black and brown.
Government strategies for reducing the harm caused by illicit drugs are not effective or well thought out. It seems to be a war against poverty or 'poor' people.
The laws and people responsible for enforcing them cause more damage in their interdiction efforts than the drugs themselves.
In fact our policies have never been very effective or well thought out.
Terms like: Just Say No...The War on Drugs have been our ignorant rallying cry.
Basically we have our fingers in the dyke (not literally) as citizens, friends, neighbors and people involved in law enforcement.
We have become accustomed to a social construct that turns citizens into enemies of law and order because they may possess a plentiful, easily attained substance considered harmful or dangerous by the USGuv.
Onmce again, the people locked up are mostly poor and brown.
What Gives?
I have heard the racist response to incarceration rates.
We all know at the end of the day people get high at the same rates regardless of racial background regardless of economic background regardless of education. Regardless of the substance.
Who goes to jail?
If we decriminalize marijuana and regulate the Narco-opiates what will happen?
Will everyone suddenly decide to try Crack and Heroin?
I don't think so.
Prohibition used to be a policy based on race and subordinate group control... it (doesn't) didn't work.
If we decriminalize kids won't be able to sell it. The illegal social stigma attached to addiction would allow thousands of addicts to come clean and get the help they want and need.
Functional users would be able to safely acquire their drug of choice without the hassle of an occasional robbery.
I know it sounds radical . But guess what? I (you) can get anything right outside my (your) door and there is no one checking for I.D.'s or quality(heh-heh).
So what's it goin to be?
I propose we keep our collective heads in the sand, make drugs legal and poverty illegal...makes sense right?...the same people get locked up, it works out perfect.
I think those that oppose legalization on knee-jerk issues are afraid. Many cannot imagine a world without inner city running gun battles and overcrowded jails. Many people still carry the irrational cultural fear of other races. The same school of thought that prevents us from trading with Cuba, working faithfully with Haiti and really being an effective force in the Indies.
Without illegal drugs our ideas about what crime is will change.
It will no longer be illegal to be poor, black or hispanic. Kids with hopes of being the next Kingpin will not be disappointed with their new found career in carpentry, plumbing, get it.
The world will change rapidly...buildings will shoot up in Central New York.
A people at work not at odds.