The oppression of people of colour in the name of the "war on drugs" has long been associated with mass incarceration and the overuse of stop-and-search.
Of those incarcerated for drug offences in US federal prisons, nearly 80 percent are black or Latino. In state prisons, these groups account for almost 60 percent of the prison population. Cannabis laws in the US also heavily fall on the black community, with African-Americans nearly four times more likely to be arrested for possession of the drug compared to the white population, despite using cannabis at roughly the same rate as the white population.
The issue of race and drugs is not just a problem in the United States. Around the world we see people of colour being subject to police harassment, arrest, imprisonment and even, in some countries, the use of extrajudicial killings – all under the guise of repressing the drugs trade. This is why there is a need for people of colour to come together to discuss the impact of drugs policy, policing and enforcement on themselves and their communities.