Going Up in Smoke: The Impacts of the Drug War on Young Black Men

27 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2014

Date Written: 2014


This paper seeks to shed light on the impacts of drug war policies and marijuana suppression efforts on African American men, and to explore recent changes within the law that may affect this segment of the population. Although discourse regarding the war on drugs is becoming more prevalent, it is important for policy makers, law enforcement, and scholars to recognize the unique circumstances that African American men face in light of the historical discrimination and oppression they have experienced, and to craft narrowly tailored solutions to address the myriad issues they encounter. Unless deliberate action is taken to address these concerns, these men will continue to be systematically excluded from mainstream society, and are at grave risk of cycling in-and-out of the revolving doors of the criminal justice system.

Keywords: drug war, African American men, war on drugs, criminal justice, mass incarceration, racial discrimination, prisons

Suggested Citation

Levy-Pounds, Nekima, Going Up in Smoke: The Impacts of the Drug War on Young Black Men (2014). 6 Albany Government Law Review 560 (2014); U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2412343

Nekima Levy-Pounds (Contact Author)


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