Drugs and People

Drugs are a valuable commodity and have a positive or negative  effect in the lives of individuals, based on their use and perception about drugs. We live in a world were drugs are addicts living homeless and are placed in lower social standings because of their drug problems, while patients use drugs in the same breath but in a controlled environment. In courts drugs related cases are treated differently based on the population in consumption of the particular drug. People of lower economic social status use crack in higher numbers because it is cheaper and easier access, compared drugs people of middle and upper class use like cocaine. But are given less time imprison because of the effects of the social constructions surrounding these two drugs. The social construction that places people of color down are multifaceted, for it is on education, economy, medicine, and the judicial system. This not only creates data that is biased, it creates false imagery of a group of people that internalize those ideologies believing it’s how they are meant to behave.

The sentencing of people in courts are biased based on the completion of their skin not even based in race with is also a social construct. Scientist proved that we are all 99.99% identical disregarding our origins, the concept of race was created to place people in social groups of different standings because of the human obsession of categorization and control. This system always places people of color lower on the spectrum often with support from science and political powers that impact people on a daily basis that people fail to recognize. There were more than 1.5 million drug arrests in the U.S. in 2016. The vast majority – more than 80% – were for possession only. People of color experience discrimination at every stage of the judicial system and are more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, convicted, harshly sentenced. Research shows that prosecutors are twice as likely to pursue a mandatory minimum sentence for black people as for white people charged with the same offense. Among people who received a mandatory minimum sentence in 2011, 38% were Latino and 31% were black, while they are the minorities in the population as a whole.




5 thoughts on “Drugs and People

  1. My post was also on racial disparities in the justice system, though I like that you kept on the topic of drugs, and social classes as well. It is a skewed perception that groups of different social classes are imprisoned at higher rates for drug crimes simply because they use drugs more. It is not that certain races or classes use drugs more often, it is the fact that they are racially profiled and more often caught. The graph I made for my post compared the overall population percentages with the percentage of prisoners of color. I found it was astounding, though in this day and age not surprising, that while only 13.4% of the US population are people of color, upwards of half of the US’s prisoners are black.

  2. This graph is very interesting as it gives some perspective on the sentencing for people of various races. This article also includes a graph that shows the incarceration rate for different countries, and while I am not surprised the United States has the highest rate of incarceration, it is interesting to see how other countries compare.

  3. I think your post is very interesting and gives some insight towards the criminalization of drugs across the country. The United States imprisons more people than any other country and the outcomes are unequal outcomes for people of color. There is a dire need for reform to the United States Justice system.

  4. I think that the criminalization of drugs in the U.S. is incredibly problematic, especially with the point you are making about the differences in punishment based on race. This actually reminds me of something that I learned in anthropology, in that sentencing differences between cocaine and crack cocaine are severe (used to be 1:100 years but now is 1:18 years) because of the differences in the demographics of who uses these drugs. In a documentary we watched in intro to anthropology, the documentary said that the majority of people who use cocaine and white and the majority of people who use crack cocaine are people of color, yet the only difference between the drugs is that crack cocaine includes baking soda and water. Seeing this issue, President Obama helped lower the sentencing for crack cocaine from 100 years to 18 years, though this disparity is still a huge problem. The criminal sentencing field for drugs is definitely racially biased and needs change.

  5. This blog response sheds an important light on the socially constructed nature of race. Many of the prejudices people have about African Americans and other races are due to the very circumstances that society and the government puts minority people in. If the social structure of society makes it difficult for minorities to live in more affluent areas and make a lesser income, then it makes sense that people in these socially constructed groups would turn to other means to make money. This blog post was very informative.

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