Blacks In Government (BIG), a group representing the interests of African-American government employees at the federal, state, county and municipal levels, overwhelmingly passed a resolution at its national delegates meeting last week calling for an end to the failed and racially biased “War On Drugs.”
The resolution, which will be delivered to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, calls for “alternatives to incarceration that may, in part, include a model to regulate and control the distribution of some drugs.”
The resolution pointed to the words of Maryland State Police Major Neill Franklin and U.S. Marshal Matthew Fogg, both members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of police, judges, prosecutors and prison wardens who support legalizing and regulating drugs.
BIG and LEAP noted that African Americans constitute 53.5 percent of all persons in prison because of a drug conviction, despite the fact that blacks are no more likely than whites to use drugs.
“I personally witnessed racially biased enforcement procedures when I ran a joint DEA task force,” said Fogg, a former U.S. marshal and a past BIG national first vice president. “When I requested equal enforcement of upscale suburban areas, I met internal resistance.”
The BIG resolution calls for “a federal investigation for solutions to eliminate the pretense and continued arrest and incarceration of African Americans at extraordinarily disparate rates for drug related charges.”
In passing the anti-Drug War resolution, BIG joins other African-American groups that have taken similar positions, such as the NAACP, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and the National Black Police Association.
“The war on drugs has put blacks behind bars for drug offenses at more than 10 times the rate of whites, even though the evidence consistently shows that blacks are no more likely to use or sell currently illicit drugs than whites are,” Fogg said. “It is time to end this virtual race war.”
To see the full text of the BIG resolution, click here [PDF].