The Marijuana Myth
Biden’s pardon of federal pot possession cases is a smokescreen.
With the midterms bearing down and the post-George Floyd crime wave still underway, President Biden and his fellow Democrats face a dilemma: Continue hammering the theme that law enforcement is racist or position themselves as guardians of law and order?
Innate inclination won out again last week. Biden announced that he was pardoning all individuals who have ever been federally convicted of marijuana possession. His reason for doing so, Biden said, was to “right” the racial “wrongs” that the criminal justice system has allegedly perpetrated. “While white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people are arrested, prosecuted and convicted at disproportionately higher rates,” Biden said in a video.
This claim—equal marijuana use, unequal criminal justice treatment—has been a cornerstone of the Left’s war on cops for decades. It is routinely trotted out as Exhibit A in the Left’s narrative about racist policing; it got an added boost from Michele Alexander’s disastrously influential book, The New Jim Crow.
This piece originally appeared in The American Mind