Blunt talk: The racist origins of pot prohibition

Race and money turned drugs from acceptable intoxicants to a scourge on our society – and that’s still affecting policy today
Rolling Stone (US)
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ius prohibition racismn the past year, 55 million Americans have used marijuana. The other 260 million are pretty divided in how they feel about that. It will probably not shock you to hear that a substance’s potential to cause addiction, health problems, and social harm has little to do with whether or not it’s legal. Instead, as law professor and criminologist Toby Seddon recently found in a wide-ranging study and historical review, there are two primary factors that influence what we consider to be drugs: race and money. These factors have long been deeply ingrained in how we view intoxication, from the origins of the War on Drugs in the 1970s to the responses to today’s opioid epidemic.