show details 10:54 PM (0 minutes ago)
Dear friends across America,
The War on Drugs has failed. Under the guise of being “tough on crime,” we now incarcerate more black people than were enslaved at the height of slavery in the 19th century but we can stop this costly and racist war by flooding the White House with messages telling President Obama that it's time for a new drug policy. Click here to take action:
Over the past forty years, the United States has waged a war on its African-American community known as the War on Drugs. Under the guise of being “tough on crime,” we now incarcerate more black people than were enslaved at the height of slavery in the 19th century -- most for doing what commonly goes unpunished in the white community. But this week, we have the best chance in a generation to begin to end this failed war.
On Saturday, President Obama will attend the Summit of the Americas at which Heads of State from Latin America plan to call for an open and evidence-based discussion on a new approach to drug policy. Even though the U.S. has admitted the drug war has failed, it has tried to squash every previous attempt to honestly reconsider it. But if we show the President that U.S. voters oppose the drug war and the racial injustice it perpetuates, he could use this moment to finally open the door to a new direction.
Let’s flood the White House with messages making clear to President Obama that it's time to rethink the failed War on Drugs. Send a message to Obama now:
Legalized racial discrimination is alive and well in the United States. Largely the result of a forty-year War on Drugs, 1 in 3 young African American men are under the control of the criminal justice system, either in prison, on probation or on parole - this is so even though repeated studies show that blacks and whites use and sell drugs at similar rates. And as a result of being labeled a criminal for life, it is legal to discriminate against them in employment, housing, education and by taking away their right to vote.
President Obama has told us that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. According to the President's own logic, the United States' War on Drugs is nothing short of crazy. We've waged this protracted war for four decades and the results speak for themselves: The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid, drugs are as available as ever, and we throw away $15 billion per year to achieve this result. Instead of reducing drug crime, which was declining before the War on Drugs was declared, mass incarceration in the U.S. locks millions out of mainstream society permanently. And the criminalization of drugs has only made it a more profitable business for international cartels, just as the prohibition of alcohol did for bootleggers nearly a century ago.
It’s time we stopped repeating the mistakes of the past and stopped sending more black youth to prison than to college. Send a message now and let’s show President Obama that the country wants an end to the War on Drugs:
We’re at a critical turning point. For the first time since the drug war was launched, a majority of Americans favor some form of decriminalization. The U.S. has admitted that the drug war has failed. A global commission of world leaders, including Democrats and Republicans, has called the War on Drugs a failure and recommended a non-criminal approach. Even conservative televangelist Pat Robertson has called for decriminalization. The tide is turning and the time to act is now, but we must seize it.
With Hope and Determination,
Ian, Alice, David, Pedro, Emma, Ari and the whole Avaaz team
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander; The New Press)
Panel Calls War on Drugs a Failure (Wall Street Journal)
War on Drugs Has Failed, Say Latin American Leaders (The Guardian)
US War on Drugs Has Met None of Its Goals (AP)
Record-High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use (Gallup)
Pat Robertson: Marijuana Should be Legal (CBS News)