cynthia nixon racist war on drugs

Cynthia Nixon Calls Out Racist Inequality in Drug Policy as She Campaigns for Governor of New York

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Cynthia Nixon has had enough of bad governmental policy, and she’s decided to do something about it: run for New York state governor. Nixon has already been a champion of the Democratic party, an advocate for LGBTQ rights, and a public education activist, and her latest stand is yet another one we can get behind in calling out drug criminalization that disproportionately affects people of color.

As Nixon points out in her video on the subject, there are plenty of reasons to legalize marijuana, and there have already been successful campaigns all around the country to do just that on a sub-federal level. However, not all of those campaigns have been explicitly focused on one of the most important points: Drug laws are effectively weaponized against people of color in a way they’re not against white people. It’s great to see Nixon make that an explicit part of her message, as she goes on to explain how this affects people in other areas of their lives—in addition to landing them in prison—to create a racist system of oppression.

It’s not every day you see a politician in the United States explicitly calling the “war on drugs” racist, but that’s something we’re happy to see changing. It feels extremely relevant alongside another news item from yesterday, wherein we discovered that former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is taking a job in the marijuana industry, while his own political party uses their control of the White House to double down on that racist “war,” and a disproportionately high number of people of color are still in prison from—or otherwise affected by convictions of—working in the very same industry.

Not only is Nixon right that marijuana should be decriminalized, both in New York and around the country, but we can’t help agreeing with her assessment of the entire situation. Decriminalizing weed is great, but the only way to actually fix the problem is putting focus on undoing the damage of these policies as everyone else swoops in to make a profit after all the harm they’ve caused:

(image: screengrab)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.