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NAACP calls for end to War on Drugs

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Tuesday passed a resolution calling on federal, state and local authorities to end the war on drugs.

CBS News reports the move comes as new studies show a widening gap in racial disparities in the U.S.

“Today the NAACP has taken a major step towards equity, justice and effective law enforcement,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said in a statement Monday. The resolution was approved by delegates at the annual NAACP convention in Los Angeles. “These flawed drug policies that have been mostly enforced in African American communities must be stopped and replaced with evidenced-based practices that address the root causes of drug use and abuse in America.”

The venerable civil rights organization noted African Americans are 13 times more likely to go to jail for drug crimes than their white counterparts. The group says that more attention and resources should be sunk into prevention programming and drug addiction treatment programs.

This resolution comes on the heels of a United Nations Global Commission on Drug Policy came out in June calling on governments to legalize marijuana. That Commission included 19 members such as former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz and former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

CBS notes that in the 40 years of the drug war, the U.S. budget to fight the war has skyrocketed to $15 billion a year.

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