Dime Bags or Rape Kits: New York City's De Facto War on Women
Between 2001 and 2010, there were "over 8 million marijuana arrests in the United States, 88% of which were for possession." says the ACLU in an extensively annotated 2013 report called "The War on Marijuana in Black and White".
In addition, over the past 40 years, the war on drugs
- Has cost $1 Trillion
- Resulted in over 40 million arrests and
- In 2010 alone... 889,133 marijuana arrests — 300,000 more than arrests for all violent crimes. (emphasis added)
Let's pick on New York City for a minute.
Why? Well, "More marijuana is consumed in NYC than in any other city in the world", for one.
And... Mayor de Blasio can't seem to get his facts straight about what police under his administration are doing about arresting citizens for cannabis. Despite his claims, NYC is arresting more people for cannabis than under early years of the Giuliani "law and order" administration - almost 17,000 in 2017 (16,925 people were arrested last year for low-level marijuana possession and smoking in public).
Seems the war on drugs has yet another sinister after-effect:
war on women.
Seventeen-thousand... seventeen-thousand... 17,000...? Then, in the swirl of news hitting our various feeds, this from the Washington Post:
Seems the war on drugs has yet another sinister after-effect: war on women. That's the unintended (but very well documented) consequence of expending a large percentage of limited law enforcement budgets and manpower on cannabis arrests, while violent crimes such as rape are not investigated.
It's not just New York City, of course. The Washington Post story continues. "In Houston, there were 6,000 [rape kits]. In Detroit, Los Angeles and Memphis, there were more than 11,000 each... n 2014, the Virginia legislature called for a count of untested rape kits. There were, it turned out, 2,902 kits in the state that had never gone to a lab. The oldest was from 1985."
Sadly, none of this is breaking news (though we've never heard the war on drugs connected in this way with war on women).
From a 2011 article "Drug war: What prohibition costs us [Blowback]" in the LA Times:
"Worse than being ineffective, though, the war on drugs creates dangerous distractions for police officers who would rather focus on improving public safety. For example, the LAPD announced this week that it will take 150 police officers off the streets to accommodate the state's shuffling of prisoners to the county level. The state must do this to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's order to cut our drug-war-induced overcrowded prison population by 30,000 -- and our state has already laid off thousands of teachers thanks in part to funding diverted to building more prisons and hiring more guards....
This follows on the heels of another reallocation of police resources in Los Angeles when the LAPD and the L.A. Sheriff's Department woke up to a three-year backlog of rape kits. Police labs have only a finite amount of resources, and drug testing often takes priority over other cases that demand attention. Detectives (and victims) waiting for lab results related to rape and other serious crimes stood in line for months while tests for custody-related possession of pot and other drugs took precedence."