These days, most pundits agree that the war on drugs is a failure. After decades of prohibition, the drug war has barely dented the illicit drug trade but contributed to the incarceration of thousands of Black people. Under prohibitionist policies, law enforcement waged a war on Black and Brown communities for decades in what some called the new Jim Crow.
Black people were and still are four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis consumption despite similar use rates as White people, and they are subject to harsher sentences. Analysis of the cannabis-related arrests that occurred in the five boroughs of New York City in 2020 revealed that Black people made up 94% of those arrested. Overall, data collected from all over the country shows that Black people are much more likely to be arrested for cannabis offenses.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently acknowledged that its formation was partly based on racially discriminatory drug policies. DEA Museum officials talked about the history of drug prohibition in America during the agency’s “Stories from the Collection” video series when they made the admission. They said that the DEA had been formed in alignment with punitive drug policies from the early-20th century.
The DEA Museum historian stated that public views on addiction evolved as the government began regulating drugs such as opium that originally had medical uses. Class, ethnic and racial prejudice coupled with increasing recreational drug use steadily changed public opinions, the officials said, resulting in the enactment of laws meant to curb the use of cocaine, heroin and marijuana.
The U.S. government, under the Treasury Department, formed the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) to enforce these new drug laws. FBN, which was the precursor of the DEA, enforced mostly politically and racially motivated laws in its time. For instance, law enforcement used stigmatizing and racist media depictions of cannabis to strengthen prohibition efforts. Research has also shown that communities of color were disproportionately affected by drug criminalization.
The DEA itself has now admitted that it was formed based on punitive racially motivated policies. Even while dozens of states have legalized cannabis, the DEA continues to enforce federal prohibitionist policies. Although the agency has taken steps to expand research into drugs such as psilocybin and cannabis as well as increase the number of approved cannabis growers, advocates and scientists believe the DEA remains a barrier to cannabis access.
The agency has spent the past few years fielding lawsuits over administrative policy and drug-scheduling issues, including one from a doctor who believed the DEA was breaking state and federal right-to-try laws by preventing terminally ill patients from accessing psilocybin therapy.
The prohibitionist and biased leaning of the DEA doesn’t just affect companies that are directly manufacturing and dealing in marijuana products. It also impacts ancillary companies such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) because these organizations can’t grow their footprint as much as they could if marijuana laws were science based and not founded on prejudice.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX
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