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Whenever there is talk about drug crimes and drug laws in Georgia, there is usually talk about racism. Many people believe there is a link between the arrest and conviction of someone for drugs and his or her race. This is something that can often be seen in statistics regarding drug convictions, specifically in the representation of those in prison for drug crimes. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, the majority of people arrested, convicted and serving time for drug crimes are Latino or African American.

This is not a state issue. It happens nationwide. The core belief is that law enforcement targets communities that are traditionally black or Latino because they are lower-income areas. Because of this targeting, officers arrest more people from these areas for drug crimes than they do in traditionally white neighborhoods where they spend less time patrolling.

Statistics back up these claims. Those in state prisons for drug crimes are 60% Latino or black. It is also shown that black people face prosecution with mandatory minimum sentences twice as much as white people for the same charges.

While people on this side of the issue admit that there are a variety of groups targeted by the war on drugs, the issue is the huge disparity based on race. This issue has a deep effect on the community as a whole. For example, only one in 57 white children have a parent who is in prison while one in every nine black children have an incarcerated parent.

The bottom line is that race should not be a determination in pursuing crimes, especially drug-related crimes. This information is for education and is not legal advice.