The War on Drugs has been a war on communities of color. The racial disparities are staggering: Despite the fact that white and black people use drugs at similar rates, black people are jailed on drug charges 10 times more often than white people are. Black people are also three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than white people are.

Racial bias, both implicit and explicit, keeps more people of color in prisons and on probation than ever before. One in three black men can expect to be incarcerated in his lifetime. Compare that to one in six Latino males and one in 17 white males. The effect of the War on Drugs on communities of color has been tragic. At no other point in U.S. history have so many people—disproportionately people of color—been deprived of their liberty. 

Sign Up for Breaking News