The War on Drugs is killing police officers, civilians, and even people who have never been arrested, according to an extensive new report released Thursday by the ACLU and other civil rights groups.
“It’s the greatest threat to the American people since the Civil War,” ACLU Deputy Legal Director Sarah Bloomfield said at a press conference about the report, which was conducted by the group’s national legal program.
The report, released Thursday in conjunction with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, paints a stark picture of how the War on Drugs has disproportionately targeted communities of color and communities of the poor.
The ACLU’s report, titled “Dying for a Drug War: America’s Brutal War on Crime,” argues that the Drug War has been a “failure” since its inception, and the result is an increased risk of arrest, incarceration, and death for African Americans, Latinos, women, and young people.
According to the report: The War On Drugs has killed more people than any other era in U.S. history.
More than 3 million people have been arrested on drug charges, according a 2015 report from the Drug Policy Alliance.
The War has resulted in over 2.7 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses.
More people are incarcerated for nonviolent drugs than are killed in mass shootings.
The United States spends over $100 billion per year on the War On Drugs.
The war has resulted of more than 1,300 people killed and 3,300 wounded in the United States since 1980, according the ACLU.
A disproportionate number of those killed and wounded have been African American men.
“The War on Marijuana is killing people at a rate ten times higher than the War in Iraq,” Bloomfield told the crowd.
“In 2016, marijuana arrests increased by nearly 50 percent in the 50 states with the most marijuana arrests, as well as more than 80 percent in Colorado and Washington state.
The number of people who died in traffic accidents on drugs increased by more than 60 percent in states with more than 200,000 marijuana arrests.”
According to Bloomfield, the ACLU’s study shows that while the War Against Drugs has been successful in reducing drug use, the War has led to a “death spiral” of more people being arrested for drug offenses in 2016 than in any year since 1973.
“As we see the War against drugs escalate into a war against people, this spirals downward,” she said.
“We’re seeing the death spiral of the War, but it’s the War that’s spiraling upward.”
The ACLU report paints a grim picture of the drug war’s impact on people of color, highlighting the “crisis of police-community relations in Baltimore, Maryland,” where the Black Lives Matter movement began, as a prime example of the “war on drugs.”
The report notes that while Baltimore, which had been the epicenter of the Black community’s protests against police brutality, has seen an increase in the number of arrests for marijuana, it is also experiencing a decline in the amount of time that people spend in jail, a trend that is mirrored in other cities.
“Baltimore is a city that has been targeted by the War for the last decade,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Marjorie Eslinger.
According a report from The Drug Policy Institute, police have arrested over 2 million people in Baltimore in the past two years, with the vast majority of these arrests being for marijuana possession. “
And when people of all races and ethnicities are targeted, they’re targeted in a way that’s disproportionate to their actual risk of being arrested and charged with a crime.”
According a report from The Drug Policy Institute, police have arrested over 2 million people in Baltimore in the past two years, with the vast majority of these arrests being for marijuana possession.
The study also shows that despite the increased arrest and incarceration rates, people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds have experienced far higher rates of arrests and incarceration.
The group found that in Baltimore and across the U..
S., African Americans are arrested and incarcerated at nearly twice the rate of white people.
“These statistics demonstrate the continued systemic discrimination that continues to impact people of every race and ethnic group across America,” said Bloomfield.
“While police are targeting communities of Color, police are disproportionately targeting communities with lower levels of education and economic status.”
As the War continues to escalate, the report argues that we need to rethink how we deal with the issue, noting that many law enforcement officers are “under siege” by the war on drugs.
“With the War upon us, we’re witnessing the death of a war that we cannot win,” Eslinger said.
The Report’s Findings: Arrests of African Americans in the U, Inc., are more than twice as high as those for whites.
Black people are arrested at a higher rate than other groups in the state, with more people killed in traffic crashes on drugs, and more people are imprisoned for nonviolent