Contrary To Popular Belief, The War Doesn’T Target Big-Time

1695 WordsApr 4, 20177 Pages
Contrary to popular belief, the war doesn’t target big-time dealers or “kingpins.” In fact, those who are arrested for non-serious offenses, such as the use of marijuana, account for the vast majority of drug arrests (Alexander). For example, four out of five drug arrest in 2005 were for possession, while only one out of five drug arrests were for sale. Furthermore, the majority of drug offenders in state prisons have no history of violence or notable selling activity (Mauer, King). Another myth is that the War on Drugs is mainly concerned with dangerous drugs. Yet, in the 1990s, marijuana possession, which is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol, accounted for almost 80 percent of the rise in drug arrests (King, Mauer). The truth is that…show more content…
Bustamonte). The effectiveness of consent searches largely depends on the ignorance, and thus powerlessness, of those targeted. The ability of police to stop and search anyone who has consented has become a valuable tool in the War on Drugs. On the road, police use pretext stops, or minor traffic violations used as pretexts to search for drugs, even if there is no evidence suggesting illegal drug activity. Pretext stops, like consent searches, allow the police to engage in the kind of arbitrary conduct that the Fourth Amendment was intended to prevent. Furthermore, most people stopped and search for drugs are perfectly innocent of any crime. These few legal limits tolled on police have allowed them to produce an unprecedented number of African Americans for minor, non-violent drug crimes. Yet, the fact that police are now legally allowed to engage in these practices that result in the arrest of countless non-violent drug offenders does not account for the reason why police would choose to do so. When the War on Drugs was first announced, it was met with some confusion and resistance among law enforcement, especially because drug crime was declining (Beckett). In the past, street crime was usually the responsibility of local law. The drug war seemed as though it were a distraction, requiring a diversion of

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