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Friday, February 10, 2023

Is the criminalization of cocaine based on racism, like the prohibition of cannabis by white prohibitionists?

There is evidence that racism played a role in the criminalization of both cocaine and cannabis in the United States. The historical context surrounding the criminalization of both substances is complex, and the motivations behind these policies were influenced by a variety of factors, including politics, social attitudes, and economics.

In the case of cocaine, early efforts to criminalize the drug were closely tied to anti-African American sentiments and fears of black drug use. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, media outlets and anti-drug activists portrayed cocaine use as a major problem among African Americans, fueling racial stereotypes and fears. These negative perceptions of black drug use helped to build support for criminalizing the drug.

In the case of cannabis, the criminalization of the drug was also motivated in part by racism and anti-immigrant sentiments, particularly against Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans. In the early 20th century, fears of Mexican immigration and the growing use of cannabis in Mexican communities helped to spur efforts to criminalize the drug.

In both cases, the criminalization of these drugs was also influenced by economic and political factors, as well as broader cultural attitudes about drug use. Nevertheless, it is clear that racism and anti-minority sentiments played a significant role in the criminalization of cocaine and cannabis in the United States.

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