It’s always shocking to me when a person of Latin descent doesn’t support marijuana reform. If they are willing to listen, I always try to explain how marijuana became illegal in the first place. During the 1930’s the United States government was looking for ways to deport Mexican immigrants, per requests from politicians in Southwestern states. By making marijuana illegal, it made it very easy for law enforcement and government officials to simply find a Latino person possessing marijuana, and then deport them. While there were many reasons why marijuana became illegal, this was a major contributing factor.
Usually after I’m done explaining this to the Latino person who is against marijuana reform, they change their opinion very fast. Latinos are still being deported to this day due to marijuana prohibition. More and more Latinos are becoming opposed to this practice. Per the Christian Post:
• Nearly two thirds of Latinos (64 percent) in California disagree that someone should be deported for a small amounts of marijuana.
• When asked more generally about drug possession, 60 percent of Latinos in California disagree that immigrants should be deported for non-violent drug possession of any kind.
Latinos and African-Americans are incarcerated in higher numbers than any other group for drug possession, despite using drugs at lower rates than white Americans, according to the Latino research and activist groups that released the poll. “A lesser known effect of the drug war, however, is its impact on immigrants. Deportation policies tear undocumented families apart for marijuana possession,” they state.
Marijuana prohibition is a racist public policy. If you are a minority, yet support marijuana prohibition, I’d love to hear why. No one should be arrested for marijuana. No one should be deported because of marijuana. All minorities and non-minorities should stand up and be heard, and keep fighting until an end to marijuana prohibition is achieved.