Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0275
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Full Text of HR0275  102nd General Assembly

HR0275 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY


  

 


 
HR0275LRB102 18309 ECR 26048 r

1
HOUSE RESOLUTION

 
2    WHEREAS, On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon
3declared drug abuse as "public enemy number one in the United
4States" and launched a failed, costly, and inhumane "all out
5offensive" War on Drugs; this War would prove to be the United
6States' longest and costliest war and ultimately a complete
7and shameful failure; and
 
8    WHEREAS, In January of 1972, President Nixon created the
9Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE) to wage a
10government war on otherwise peaceful and innocent Americans
11who voluntarily chose to ingest plants, weed, and intoxicants
12forbidden by the government; in July of 1973, ODALE was
13consolidated, along with several other federal drug agencies,
14into the newly established Drug Enforcement Administration
15(DEA) as a new "super agency" to handle all aspects of the War
16on Drugs; and
 
17    WHEREAS, In 1994, President Nixon's counsel and assistant
18for domestic affairs John Ehrlichman revealed the real enemies
19of the Nixon administration were not drug abusers but were the
20anti-war left and Blacks Americans; he noted that the War on
21Drugs was actually designed as an evil, deceptive, and
22sinister policy to wage a war on those two groups; and
 

 

 

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1    WHEREAS, John Ehrlichman claimed "we knew we couldn't make
2it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by
3getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and
4blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we
5could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their
6leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify
7them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were
8lying about the drugs? Of course we did"; and
 
9    WHEREAS, The growing cost of the War on Drugs is now
10impossible to ignore; there have been billions of dollars
11wasted, bloodshed in Latin America and on the streets of our
12own cities, and millions of lives destroyed; and
 
13    WHEREAS, Between 1925 and the early 1970s, the male
14incarceration rate was remarkably stable at about 200 men per
15100,000 population, or 1 U.S. male per 500, according to data
16from the Bureau of Justice Statistics; by 1986, about a
17decade-and-a-half after the War on Drugs started locking up
18drug users and dealers, the male incarceration rate doubled to
19400 per 100,000 population; and
 
20    WHEREAS, Within another decade, the male incarceration
21rate doubled again to more than 800 by 1996 before reaching a
22historic peak of 956 in 2008 (about one in 100); this was
23almost five times higher than the stable rate before the War on

 

 

HR0275- 3 -LRB102 18309 ECR 26048 r

1Drugs; and
 
2    WHEREAS, The arrest and incarceration data demonstrates
3that the War on Drugs had a significantly much greater
4negative effect on Black and Hispanics Americans when compared
5to White Americans; intensified enforcement of drug laws
6disproportionally subjected Blacks and Hispanic Americans to
7new mandatory minimum sentences despite lower levels of drug
8use and no higher demonstrated levels of trafficking when
9compared to White Americans; this makes the War on Drugs even
10more shameful for its devastating and disproportionately
11adverse effects on America's most disadvantaged populations;
12and
 
13    WHEREAS, While there could have been other factors that
14contributed to the increased male incarceration rate between
15the early 1970s and the peak in 2008, research clearly shows
16that the War on Drugs, along with mandatory minimum sentencing
17in the 1980s, were all significant contributing factors to the
18unprecedented rate of incarcerated Americans; and
 
19    WHEREAS, Since the 2008 peak, the male incarceration rate
20has been gradually declining in each of the last seven years of
21available data through 2016; this is possibly because of the
22decriminalization of marijuana at the city and state level,
23the legalization of recreational marijuana at the city and

 

 

HR0275- 4 -LRB102 18309 ECR 26048 r

1state levels, and the legalization of medical marijuana at the
2state level; and
 
3    WHEREAS, The War on Drugs has proven to be a costly, failed
4disaster that shamefully affected some of America's most
5vulnerable populations; therefore, be it
 
6    RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE
7HUNDRED SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that
8we recognize the shameful and discriminatory history of the
9War on Drugs in the United States.