THE WAR ON DRUGS HITS THE SUBURBS
Nope nope. They want heroin. The suburbs want heroin. Transitioning from pain killers, heroin found its audience in the suburbs w/ deaths quadrupling since 2000. The difference is its users are white and middle class. The outcome? West Virginia proposes a $133 million dollar health care program to take care of its addicts. New Hampshire writes an anti-overdose prescription law for user-friends and families. With whites, its seen as a health issue that needs to be approached with care. Thats a far cry from the rhetoric of super predators and life sentences used toward poor people of color overflowing in todays prison system, with over half of all convicts carrying a non-violent drug offense.
Here’s quote from a telling New York Times article about the country’s drastic change in approach.
“And in one of the most striking shifts in this new era, some local police departments have stopped punishing many heroin users. In Gloucester, Mass., those who walk into the police station and ask for help, even if they are carrying drugs or needles, are no longer arrested. Instead, they are diverted to treatment, despite questions about the police departments’ unilateral authority to do so. It is an approach being replicated by three dozen other police departments around the country.”
I’m not saying making drugs as a health issue and treating its users with care is wrong. Its wrong when it pertains only to white people with money. You can read the rest of that Times article here.