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Lecture 17

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Social Science
SOSC 1000
Terry Conlin

• Criminalization might not be a great idea since it does not make much sense to pursue since there has been decrease of light user & prohibition is not as effective for heavy users • Focus on treatment – makes most sense since it’s heavy user increases • Response was very different from the actual problem • Bigger issue is actual availability • Constructionist perspective – things like treatment and etc. is necessary. Different drugs can be categorized legally while others are not even though they have similar amounts of harm. Slide 2 3 specific forms of discrimination in the US primarily: 1) Discrimination in respect to the nature of drug laws. One of the key measures in association with the war on drugs is mandatory minimum sentences. There are disparities in these minimum sentences. A mandatory minimum sentence for crack cocaine is 3 times longer than powder cocaine. 1g of crack is treated the same as 100g if powered cocaine. Fair sentencing act – targets the disparity so that… 2) Over-policing & Racial Profiling- any circumstances involved in travelling gives “probably cause” to conducting searches in airports 3) Disproportionate ways of arrests and incarceration. How laws are being enforced & the penalties that are being handed out. All economies are drug dependent. Provides income for people who are not officially employed. Not only do the economies benefit directly; also benefit from money laundering which provide people with subsidized goods such as cigarettes, electronics, etc. This happens because US & Canadian tobacco companies are involved in smuggling. Columbian Drug Traffickers – US $ must be laundered into pesos by giving it to brokers -> smugglers -> purchase cigarretes using US $ -> tobacco companies ->smuggled to local markets -> smugglers give pesos to brokers -> Columbian drug traffickers. Legal and illegal economies are inter-dependent & cannot exist independently from each other. Video • In California, there has not been one crack conviction of a white person • Crack minimum sentences are a lot worse compared to possession of other drugs • Minorities are targeted more in a 100 to 1 ratio compared to other races. • 13% of African Americans are crack users in the US, the rest are White and Brown • 1990s, meth was becoming popular like crack among the whites, gays, and trailer park people • Most people sell drugs because they either lose their jobs
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