The war on drugs is a war on poor people. Rich people consume drugs as much as poor people do proportianetly, however, rich people are far more likely to get a warning or slap on the wrist compared to poor people. Poor people are harrassed, arrested, fined, jailed, and given the ‘drug war scarlet letter’ when they are caught with drugs. For evidence of that, we can look to London, where a report was recently leaked which shows an enormous disparity between arrest rates for rich people versus poor people by the London MET. Per Vice:
Unreleased figures obtained by researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE) reveal that those in the highest socio-economic class – people like bankers, doctors and lawyers – are three times more likely to be let off with a caution for drug offences than the unemployed. And of the near 200,000 people stopped and searched for drug possession by the Met last year, almost all of those punished – 93 percent – were from lower socio-economic groups.
If a poor person is labeled a criminal by the system, it makes it tremendously difficult to find a living wage job and succeed in society. Just one drug charge on a person’s record is enough to keep them impoverished for the rest of their lives in some cases. If a rich person is labeled a criminal by the system, they can fall back on the resources they have at their disposal. In an ideal world, no one would be arrested for drugs, rich or poor. But to single out poor people for arrest, while giving rich people a warning for the same act, is an enormous injustice that shouldn’t go unchallenged.