It isn’t just in the U.S.

Racial disparity is a fact of drug prohibition.

Release (UK) has released a new report: The Numbers in Black and White: Ethnic Disparities in the Policing and Prosecution of Drug Offenses in England and Wales

Here’s just a taste of their findings:

Every 58 seconds someone is stopped and searched for drugs in England and Wales. […] Just over 7600 were of children aged 15 or below. […]

For those from the white population it was 7 per 1000, increasing to 14 per 1000 for those identifying as mixed race, 18 per 1000 for those identifying as Asian and to 45 per 1000 for those identifying as black.

Black people were, in other words, 6.3 times more likely to be stopped and searched for drugs than white people, while Asian people were 2.5 times more likely to be stopped and searched for drugs and those identifying as mixed race were stopped and searched for drugs at twice the rate of white people. […]

Across London black people are charged for possession of cannabis at 5 times the rate of white people. […]

Black people in London who are caught in possession of cocaine are charged, rather than cautioned, at a much higher rate than their white counterparts. In 2009/10 the Metropolitan Police charged 78 per cent of black people caught in possession of cocaine compared with 44 per cent of whites.

Again, it doesn’t even have to mean that those who write or enforce the laws are racially motivated (though some may be). Even if the people are not racist at all, a drug war is by its very nature flawed and cannot help but be enforced in a way that is racist in its results. This is a result of the challenges of enforcing laws against a popular consensual crime and societal factors of community and poverty.

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30 Responses to It isn’t just in the U.S.

  1. Jean Valjean says:

    The war on drugs in Britain has been a wholly owned franchise of the US government since the late 1960s.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      It might be reasonable to say that the US started it but the British certainly were enthusiastic about picking up the ball and running with it. Just yesterday a sycophant didn’t like the fact that no one has ever died from a fatal overdose and dug up the alleged death by overdose of a British rugby player in 2006. Noting that the CDC might be a better source than the Daily Mail didn’t impress him at all.

  2. Duncan20903 says:

    It’s not just the criminal justice system in Great Britain. Their mental health professionals diagnose Caribbean blacks (read: Rastafarians) with schizophrenia at a rate at least 3x higher than mental health professionals in other countries. Believe it or not the Dutch witch doctors are also predisposed to diagnose schizophrenia in that same cohort.

    If you’re expecting to see something it’s not an uncommon human failing to see it even if it isn’t there.

    • darkcycle says:

      Very often, a catch all of Schizophrenia will be attached to any patient who’s behavior a shrink can’t properly categorize (recently, in this country that catch all has been B.A.D. with psychotic features. But it all just covers a shrink’s inability to diagnose). It is often employed for ANY behavior that a shrink finds difficult to understand. Not at all surprising to me that that would be applied to Rastafarians. Their dress and their dreadlocks could be erroneously attributed to hygene issues (a hallmark of psychosis) their heavy patious and confusing (to an outsider) word use could be mislabeled as tangential thinking.
      One of the problems with head shrinkers is that ANYBODY presented to them in an institutional setting will get a diagnosis. Period. Doesn’t matter how healthy you are, in that circumstance, under conditions of extreme duress, you will appear ill. Even your protestations will be seen as symptoms. And, if you wound up in a locker, well, you don’t just fall into those things. There was some precipitating incident, something had to happen, even if it was a gross misinterpretation of intent or meaning.
      I do not excuse this, mind you, it’s a combination of laziness, incompetence and seeing only what you expect to see that allows it to happen, but it’s the rule, not the exception.

      • claygooding says:

        I think the drug warriors are the nucking futs.

        • Freeman says:

          What’s that they say about doing the same things over and over again, expecting different results? They’ve been promising different results but doing the same things for decades.

      • Jean Valjean says:

        By that category we should be including every follower of a religion, not just Rastafarians. The imaginary friend (Jesus Christ)claimed by Christians is clearly a mental illness, but because it is a historic part of Western culture it gets a pass. Unfortunately Christians like Tony Blair and George W do not get diagnosed as mentally ill and are left at liberty to inflict their insanity on the rest of us. Meanwhile we are told that Pope Benedict resigned because “God told him too.” It has been said that when we talk to God it is called “prayer.” When God talks to us it is Schizophrenia.

        • darkcycle says:

          Yep. Look up the definitions of “Delusion”, see if you can find a distinction.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          Now, when I talked to god I knew he’d understand
          He said, “Sit by me and I’ll be your guiding hand
          But don’t ask me what I think of you
          I might not give the answer that you want me to”
          Oh well.

        • Jean Valjean says:

          Duncan: thanks for the reminder of Oh Well….Peter Green joins with Syd Barrett as two of the greatest guitarists who never reached their true potential… acid casualties or victims of the medical profession? Or just schizophrenic?

  3. divadab says:

    The prohibition of cannabis was explicitly designed and sold as a way to keep the brown people down. After all, as the government told us at the time, “marijuana” makes white women want to have sex with black men, and makes black men feel like kings. We can’t have that! Send in the G-men!

    • claygooding says:

      I love to remind everyone that no legislator south of the Mason-Dixon line got elected in 1937 that did not belong to the Klu Klux Klan unless they’re daddy and any brothers were,,,and many of the northern states only elected Klansman.
      Anslinger got prohibition voted in the minute he said smoking marijuana makes Negro’s think they are as good as white people. the white women making love to blacks brought even the stoutest equal rights advocate into the vote because equal rights in those days did not mean the right to mate white women even to them.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Let’s not forget that on the left coast it was implemented because of the “problem” with immigrants from Mexico. That also goes to show that the general hatred of our unregistered guests from Mexico just isn’t anything new.

        From the “to whom it may concern” file I’m not interested in discussing Mexican immigration. It would be an unproductive use of your time. Even more heinous is that it would also be a waste of mine.

      • Jeff Trigg says:

        The fabled Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed two Klu Klux Klan members to the US Supreme Court, including making KKK member Hugo Black the Chief Justice. I love reminding Democrats of that fact. In the north, the KKK practically ran Indiana for a bit.

        Heck, the very use of the word “marijuana” instead of cannabis shows the racist origins of the demonization still used to this day.

  4. Servetus says:

    The cross cultural comparison shows prohibition’s problems are systemic. As a type of law enforcement, prohibition causes allegedly civilized cultures to resemble third-world dictatorships and theocracies.

    At least the British cops don’t carry guns:

    U.S. DEA agent shoots innocent 18-year-old in a parking lot. Parents collect $3-million judgment from federal judge.

    • strayan says:

      The Granada Hills High School graduate mistook undercover, plainclothes Drug Enforcement Administration agents for gang members

      No he didn’t.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        Indeed. There was no mistake. Those people are gang members.

        • Jose says:

          Probably responsible for more financial loss and deaths than all street gangs combined! At least a street gangster is likely to think of the consequences of shooting someone dead than an alphabet gang memeber.

    • Jean Valjean says:

      If you want to see whether the British police carry guns try waving a replica in London and see how long it takes to be shot dead. My guess is less than 10 minutes.

      • claygooding says:

        I think we need to have police carry one bullet in their shirt pocket.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          How about a Hollywood action movie called “Fife”? “Sheriff Fife says no more Mr. Nice Guy to the criminals who murdered Andy, Opie and Aunt Bea in their beds.”


          Russ Belville used a new word (to me anyway) in a post yesterday to describe the Sabets and Kleimans and Evanses of the world. That word is rehabitionists.

        • Freeman says:

          Re: rehabitionists.

          Oh Hell yeah, I’m using that one!

        • allan says:

          yeah… that works. Rock on RussB, rock on. And yes, I too have added that to my dictionary. Hey, and that gives us another synonym for excrementalists.

      • Jose says:

        If precedent still stands…. A machete is still an option in the UK.

  5. claygooding says:

    Mark has raised his ugly head in WA again,,now he wants WA and CO to make a contract with the federal government to ramp up efforts to bust illegal growers in their states,,as if the haven’t been for the last 75 years.
    I haven’t read the entire recommendation yet but a dollar bet that it includes the legal market paying any “extra” enforcement costs.

    OLYMPIA, WASH. — A professor who serves as a lead consultant on implementing Washington state’s marijuana law has suggested that the U.S. Department of Justice enter into contracts with both Washington and Colorado to avoid a federal crackdown on state-licensed businesses that will sell marijuana.

    The independently released paper written by Mark Kleiman advises a partnership between the federal government and the states, both of which legalized the recreational use of marijuana last fall.

    • Jeff Trigg says:

      When I lived in Washington state, the State Police were given the power by the Democrat legislature to offer a $5,000 reward to anyone who turns in a cannabis grower. That snitch program was prominent on the State Police website at the time. Maybe the Feds will help the Washington Democrats up that snitch reward beyond $5,000.

  6. allan says:

    OT… Bloomberg gets slapped down by NYC council:

    New York City Council approves curbs on police power

    (Reuters) – The New York City Council defied Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the issue of police power on Thursday, overturning his veto on a measure to curb the stop-and-frisk policy that he argues is necessary to fight crime.

    The council passed another measure, also opposed by the mayor, that would create a watchdog to monitor the New York Police Department.


    • DdC says:

      Sabet said the clinics’ security concerns show why pot should be available in pharmacies, which would require a change to federal laws.

      “There are robberies and deaths as it is — it’s the illegal drug business,” Sabet said. “And with the money these guys are making, I’m sure they will be able to create their own armored cars that discreetly transfer their cash.

      He makes me dizzy.

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