Saturday, December 10, 2016

4 Ways the Trump Administration Could Help Minorities

Republicans running for president haven't done very well with minority voters, and although President-elect Donald Trump fared slightly better this year than Mitt Romney did in 2012, the numbers still show that the GOP has a long way to go to make inroads with black and Hispanic voters. According to the Pew Research Center, Trump received only 8 percent of the black vote and 28 percent of the Hispanic vote. With demographic trends projecting that the share of non-Hispanic whites will continue to drop, it would be wise for the incoming Trump administration to pursue sound policies that have the additional benefit of helping minorities.

First, support the decriminalization of drug possession and the complete legalization of marijuana. Like alcohol prohibition, the federal government's war on drugs has been a costly failure. In 2015, only 16 percent of drug arrests were for manufacturing and sale; the clear majority were for mere possession.

Drug usage rates are similar between whites and minorities, with blacks representing about 14 percent of regular drug users. But blacks account for 37 percent of drug arrests. Marijuana, which is arguably safer than alcohol, account for almost 43 percent of drug arrests, and of those, 90 percent are for marijuana possession. Again, even though usage across the races is similar, blacks are almost four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana as whites.

No comments: