Richard Branson: US War on Drugs is ‘Racist’

On Wednesday, while reacting to the death of an American border agent, Sir Richard Branson told Reuters that the American War on Drugs is not only a failure, it is also “racist.”

Speaking at the offices of the Metro Newspaper in New York where he was acting as a “global guest editor,” Branson said that he was part of a commission that spent two years looking at the war on drugs and they came to the conclusion that it is “patently obvious it’s failed.”

Branson noted that other nations, like Portugal, have made changes to their policies that have helped alleviate their drug problems and suggested that the U.S. follow suit.

When asked if the U.S. is different, Branson went on a tirade of sorts claiming that the American war on drugs will be harder to change for the better because it’s all about racism.

“I’ll tell you what’s different. I’ll tell you what the fundamental difference in America is, it, it is a war against black people in America. It’s black people that 85 percent of people who go to prison in America for taking drugs is black people. They don’t take more drugs, but it’s a racist law against black people in America.”

“The law should be changed,” Branson insisted. “You’ve got something like 1.5 million people in American jails languishing for taking drugs and that is wrong. Those people would be much better being out in society, being helped if they have drug problems, getting off the problem.”

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  • 914

    What a revelation? So is voting against Barack Hussain Obama..

  • jim_m

    I’m sure Branson knows lots of white people who do drugs. But this criticism coming from a citizen of a nation that fought 2 wars to keep the opium trade going because it was profitable is little different than having Mexican drug Cartel leaders dictate to us what our drug policy ought to be.

    I’m sorry that he will have to continue to break the law if he wants his fix in the US. He should feel free to have his ass thrown in our jails in order to equalize the racial mix.

  • ackwired

    He is certainly right that the war on drugs is a failure. One of the negative effects of the war on drugs is the incarceration of an unconscionable number of young black men. But that does not mean that the motivation is racial. It is just a stupid policy with many negative effects.

  • Commander_Chico_Cognoscente

    Branson is right. Not only is the policy a failure, it is also racist.

    The racism comes in at the decision to charge the defendant, particularly in the choice between ordinary possession of drugs and possession with the intent to distribute.

    Years ago, I worked as a temporary clerk in a city court where young black guys were regularly getting charged with possession with the intent to distribute if they were caught (probably with illegal searches with bogus explanations, another story and another part of the racism) with three joints or three dime bags of marijuana in their pockets. Then there were the “school zone” charges.

    One day these white suburban kids get arraigned. They were caught buying a huge amount of marijuana (six ounces). They are charged only with possession, which is basically no penalty, no record on first offense.

    The judge goes off on the cops and the DA, asking why is it that we have kids from the city get hammered and sent to jail on school zone charges for far less day after day, and these kids get a pass.

    There was no answer, but the DA controls the charges, so they were charged with possession.

    The other end that looked racist was sentencing, where the black man seemed much more likely to get jail time than the white man who got probation, programs, etc.

    The time I spent in court opened my eyes. I’m glad I’m semi-white (Guido).

    • Mind if I ask an obvious question? If a black person is either using or possessing illegal drugs, then who is making the black person do that?

      • Commander_Chico_Cognoscente

        Ah, the old “personal responsibility” thing. You could ask the same question about the white person, of course.

        But the white kid with drugs does not get stopped and frisked, the white kid walks if he gets caught with a joint because the cop lets him go, the white kid gets charged with the lesser offense for a given quantity, and the white kid gets probation if he’s convicted of the felony.

        The cops and prosecutors (white and black) see the black kids hanging on the corner in the city as the opposing force and robotically apply the law, while they use discretion arresting white kids, especially of the upper classes.

        The game plan is to rack up charges and convictions with the black kids, while acknowledging the white kid’s mistakes as youthful indiscretions. Hey, I was the beneficiary of this myself – cops didn’t arrest me for things I could have been arrested for, back in the 70s.

        The bias is subtle, mostly unconscious in those who apply it, and is not always present, but it pervades the system. You have to sit in a courtroom for months, read the police reports, watch the hearings like I did when I was a docket clerk – you see it.

        • jim_m

          Citation please. Can you show us some data which demonstrates that prosecutors are refusing to prosecute white people who are arrested on drug charges? Or that police refuse to arrest white people on drug charges?

          I didn’t think so. Your statement is just BS.

          • Commander_Chico_Cognoscente

            I was describing my own experiences. But for references corroborating them:




            Feel free to counter with your own references refuting my thoughts.

            (sound of crickets)

          • jim_m

            Ok so I ask for evidence that blacks are prosecuted disproportionately and you respond with studies claiming that they receive tougher sentences.

            I would characterize your comment as unresponsive to my request and claim as before that you are simply full of crap and have no evidence to back up your claim that minorities are prosecuted disproportionately.

            Any time you actually want to address and support the bullshit you claim I am certainly willing to listen. Unfortunately, you are incapable of backing up your crap.

          • Commander_Chico_Cognoscente

            jim_m when confronted by evidence:

            “but, but, but, but. . you suck!”. .

          • Vagabond661

            As the saying goes “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”
            If you knowingly break the law, you can cry all you want but the punishment is on you. You rolled the dice. You took the risk. You gambled and lost. Shut up and do your time. Don’t cry to me about how others are getting less time or no time in jail.

          • jim_m

            Screw you. You claimed that blacks were prosecuted more often than Whites. You gave me evidence that they may receive harsher sentences.

            I’m sorry that you are too stupid to tell the difference. But I am not going to sit here and let you get away with an outright lie. You made a claim and you can’t back it up. You are full of shit here just like you are when you claim you aren’t voting for obama.

            Show me some evidence that backs your claim or admit that you overstated your case or face the fact that I am going to remind you constantly of what a dishonest liar you are.

            You’re a real piece of work. You call everyone racist and then you don’t have the evidence you claimed to have to back your accusations up.

          • Commander_Chico_Cognoscente

            I said they are differentially prosecuted and they receive tougher sentences. The studies, if you look at them, confirm both.

          • jim_m

            No they do not show that white people are either not arrested or that if arrested that they are not prosecuted.

          • Vagabond661

            Isn’t the point that they all still broke the law? The argument that one gets prosecuted more than the other is a straw man. The law is the law and they broke it.

          • jim_m

            Chico apparently believes that stiff sentences for blacks are the equivalent of not prosecuting whites. Don’t ask how that makes sense. After all, this is the same guy who defends obama at every turn but claims that he won’t vote for him.

          • jim_m

            Chico is arguing that prosecutorial discretion is applied in a racist manner. He’s got no proof though, otherwise he would have delivered that and not the sentencing studies.

          • jim_m

            You know I’ll bet that the majority of the cases in those studies are from urban districts where the judges run as democrats. So what you are really saying is that dem judges give harsher sentences to blacks because the dems are racists.

            Thanks for playing.

    • retired.military

      WHere do most drug crimes occur? Big cities. What is the racial population of big cities vs the entire US? More African AMericans in cities than in the US as a whole percentage wise. Who runs big cities? More democrats than republicans. Why? Because larger African AMerican populations in cities and they tend to vote democrat 90% of the time.
      Logicial conclusion – democrats who generally run large cities are responsible for prosecuting more african americans who make up more of the population.


      New York
      Gary Ind
      San Diego

  • White Dragon

    Blacks rape over 20,000 White women a year in the US. Is that wrong?
    Blacks have the highest STD rates per capita. Is that wrong?
    Blacks have the highest school drop-out rates. Is that wrong?
    Blacks put their own racial interests first. Is that wrong?
    Branson is racist against his own race. He is an anti-White. Is that wrong?

    • retired.military

      I would prefer that perpetrators of crimes get punished. Equal crime = equal time. I would prefer that we talk about people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

      We just had someone in temple tx get 40 years for assault on a public servant
      Murderers dont get 40 years.

      Granted the guy had a long criminal history etc. But sex offenders against children dont get 40 years usually. 1st Degree murderers dont get 40 years. Child pornographers dont get 40 years. Rapists dont get 40 years.

      • UOG

        If you want a long sentence, rob a bank.

        • Commander_Chico_Cognoscente

          Bank robbery is indeed the stupidest crime – high risk, high penalty, not that great a pay-off.

          The best crime on a risk/reward basis is shoplifting.

  • Par4Course

    The war on drugs has racist effects, even though not racist per se. There are high profits to be made on any prohibited substance in high demand, as our experience with Prohibition amply demonstrated. In poor areas, black or white, young people can make hundreds of times as much money dealing drugs than working in any legitimate occupation. This is especially true under the Obama economy, where black and Latino unemployment is sky high.

    A more enlightened society would gradually lessen and then eliminate the penalties for drug possession and sale, until the main deterrents to drug use were social and medical rather then legal. But don’t expect that soon in the US. There may be some on the left that agree with the libertarian position that people have a right to choose what products to consume, but the vast majority of Americans still believe that legalizing drugs would put a government imprimatur on their use.

    There is also the paradox posed by cigarettes: the government discourages use by imposing high taxes, the revenues from which benefit the government. That may be a clue to the form that drug legalization will take: You will someday be able to buy drugs legally, but they will still be high priced due to excessive taxation.

    • herddog505

      This is a very thoughtful post and I completely agree, especially with this:

      Par4CourseThere are high profits to be made on any prohibited substance in high demand, as our experience with Prohibition amply demonstrated. In poor areas, black or white, young people can make hundreds of times as much money dealing drugs than working in any legitimate occupation.

      We have effectively set up a nice, juicy market that promises large returns on an(ahem) investment, requires little or no skill or training to enter, and is supported – in some cases with great enthusiasm – by significant portions of our society. Why WOULDN’T people get into it?

      Par4CourseThere may be some on the left that agree with the libertarian position that people have a right to choose what products to consume, but the vast majority of Americans still believe that legalizing drugs would put a government imprimatur on their use.

      An interesting question: do anti-drug laws exist because people object to other people using drugs,or do people object to other people using drugs because of a decades-long government campaign to convince us that drug use is horrible, terrible, and should be stamped out?

      • Vagabond661

        Since Prohibition was brought up as an example, has alcohol use increased or decreased since the Prohibition ban was lifted? Has there been fewer people addicted to alcoholism? Fewer people killed by drunk drivers?

        As far as cigarettes go, people still smoke.

        • Vagabond661

          It’s the addition factor. One can be a casual social drinker. One can’t be a casual social crack cocaine user.

  • A B

    Japan is 98.5% Japanese. Japan does not let foreigners vote and kicks
    them out all the time. Japan is RICH and has a horrendous colonial
    history. Yet no one is Demanding the Japanese in Japan, be replaced with
    a Blended humanity to end “racism”. They only Demand this of White

    This is the common ground on which anti-Whites say we must all agree:

    What is non-White belongs to non-Whites. What is White also belongs to non-Whites.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  • Brian_R_Allen

    …. a nation that fought 2 wars to keep the opium trade going ….

    That remark is so damned stupid on so many levels as to suggest you’ve been exposed to too many chinese “opium wars” fairy tales and/or to require the suspension of contempt.

    The wars that saw the chinese soundly whipped by a handful of Englishmen in a few wooden ships at the end of a six months and ten thousand miles long line of command and supply involved some opium, its true. But opium was available over the counter in every American drug store until relatively recently, when, where none much existed, politicians created a problem : Prohibition!

    Which instantly became and has ever since been the mother lode of the hundreds of so-called “drug crimes” – including the so-called :”war on drugs” that descend from it and that (just like the also massively Tax-Payer defrauding Mann-MadeGW Industrial Complex) have, world-wide, become a Trillion Dollar Taxpayer-funded rent-seeker “industry.”

  • Vagabond661

    The same is true on the war on speeders except it’s racist and sexist. So it’s twice as bad. After all the money we spend on law enforcement and radar equipment, speeders still happen.

    It has obviously failed. And more than likely the woman with cleavage gets a pass.