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  1. #1
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    Default Drug Laws are racist. No, really.

    http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/0...s-than-blacks/


    Black youth are arrested for drug crimes at a rate ten times higher than that of whites. But new research shows that young African Americans are actually less likely to use drugs and less likely to develop substance use disorders, compared to whites, Native Americans, Hispanics and people of mixed race.

    “Our goal is to alert people to the burden of drug problems and also to how some of our concern about who has these problems may not be true,” says Dr. Dan Blazer, senior author of the study and a professor of psychiatry at Duke University. “There's a perception among many individuals that African Americans as a group — regardless of socioeconomic status — tend to abuse or use drugs at higher rate and this [does not support] that."

    Using data from 72,561 youth interviewed for the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, researchers found that 37% of those aged between 12 and 17 had used alcohol or other drugs at least once in the past year. Nearly 8% met criteria for a substance use disorder — either the less severe “substance abuse” diagnosis or the more problematic “substance dependence,” which is more commonly known as addiction.

    The study, which was published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry, controlled for variables like socioeconomic status because rates of severe drug problems tend to be greater amongst the poor. Despite this, Native American youth fared worst, with 15% having a substance use disorder, compared to 9.2% for people of mixed racial heritage, 9.0% for whites, 7.7% for Hispanics, 5% for African Americans and 3.5% for Asians and Pacific Islanders.
    Well then.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    the laws themselves aren't racists but the people enforcing them are
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  3. #3
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Whether or not drug laws are racist, drug abuse and drug dependency are not necessarily related to involvement in drug crime. Possession and distribution, for example. Also, the study includes alcohol use which can be abused consistently without breaking any laws.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  4. #4
    Intergalactic Badass mujigay's Avatar
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    Is it the laws, or the enforcers?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Well, crack, a drug that's considerably more prevalent in poor and minority communities, was made literally 100 times more illegal than cocaine (a richer, whiter drug) even though scientist have found no discernible difference in the dangers or effects of the two. So one hundred grams of coke was the same, legally, as one gram of crack. That could be argued to be a racist law. I think they've scaled it back, but crack laws are still something like 12 times more severe.

    As for racism in policing and courts, that's been around forever. Not just in drugs, look at almost any criminal trial. Black men are more likely than white men to be convicted and almost always face more severe punishments for virtually identical charges.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  6. #6
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    Well, crack, a drug that's considerably more prevalent in poor and minority communities, was made literally 100 times more illegal than cocaine (a richer, whiter drug) even though scientist have found no discernible difference in the dangers or effects of the two. So one hundred grams of coke was the same, legally, as one gram of crack. That could be argued to be a racist law. I think they've scaled it back, but crack laws are still something like 12 times more severe.

    As for racism in policing and courts, that's been around forever. Not just in drugs, look at almost any criminal trial. Black men are more likely than white men to be convicted and almost always face more severe punishments for virtually identical charges.
    This tells me there is more of an epidemic with Crack than Cocaine. Like Metamorphosis mentioned "drug abuse and drug dependency are not necessarily related to involvement in drug crime". It's a cute statistic to say that whites or Hispanics are more likely to suffer from addiction and drug abuse in attempting to back up the argument in the OP, but that doesn't accurately portray which demographic is seeing the most activity when it comes to drugs (and other crimes that become associated with drugs). There is no argument that in neighborhoods where there is a crack problem, there is likely to be an elevated rate of other crimes as well. Those neighborhoods obviously tend to be low income, and even black in many cases. That's just reality and has nothing to do with racism.

    Racism or fighting crime? That's one way to avoid the actual issue of the drugs and the crime though, to scrape it up to a white, racist organization that's out to get a class of minorities. A popular tactic in suppressing crime is to find out what regions of any given cities are the problem areas, and are seeing the most violent/property/etc. types of crimes being committed, and then to focus a high level of law enforcement presence in that area. When arrests are made, for whatever the issue may be, you'll find that a lot of times drugs will pop up too.

  7. #7
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    Whether or not drug laws are racist, drug abuse and drug dependency are not necessarily related to involvement in drug crime. Possession and distribution, for example. Also, the study includes alcohol use which can be abused consistently without breaking any laws.
    How do you seperate them? Supply and demand...

  8. #8
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    How do you seperate them? Supply and demand...
    I understand what you're saying, but I was trying to make a point about the misrepresentation of statistics to draw a conclusion that can't really be drawn from that data. At least, that's how it looks to me without actually seeing the study.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  9. #9
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    As for racism in policing and courts, that's been around forever. Not just in drugs, look at almost any criminal trial. Black men are more likely than white men to be convicted and almost always face more severe punishments for virtually identical charges.
    Where are you getting your data?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Just to clarify, the study was done through interview methods, meaning self reported. Is that what others understand?
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

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