Hispanics And Proposition 19

By Juan Carlos HidalgoPolls suggest that Hispanics in California are largely opposed to Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in that state. This is unfortunate since Hispanics have historically been disproportionate victims of drug prohibition.
Earlier this week, David Kopel wrote a historical analysis in Encyclopedia Britannica of the racist origins of marijuana prohibition, which targeted Mexicans in particular. Back in the 1930’s when the federal government started cracking down on marijuana consumption, officials openly worried about the effect of the drug on “degenerate Spanish-speaking residents … who are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions.�
Some people might claim that even though racial profiling certainly was behind marijuana prohibition, its c…

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