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Van Jones Explains How Drug Laws Affect Our Elections

‘I spent my twenties in a drug-infested den of crime and inequity: Yale University’

When it comes to drugs in America, white people do the crime while black people do the time. Accoding to studies, higher percentages of white people have used cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, OxyContin, and stimulants like methamphetamine than black people. But black people are arrested three times more often. CNN’s Van Jones believes this unfair treatment of African-Americans led to Donald Trump’s election.


Van Jones is a former advisor to president Obama, and has founded four not-for-profit organizations engaged in social and environmental justice. Earlier this week, Jones discussed the rampant drug use he experienced at Yale University on “Conan.” “I spent my twenties in a drug-infested den of crime and inequity: Yale University,” Jones said. “I saw more drugs being done in more ways, off of more surfaces, by more kinds of people than I ever saw in any black community. Well, the cops never kicked in the doors. The police never showed up.”

Jones believes that if drug laws were equal, Hillary Clinton would have defeated Donald Trump in the 2016 election because more African-American men would have shown up at the polls. “Democrats lost Florida. If African-American men had not been disqualified from voting by disproportionate arrests for drugs...we would have won Florida in a landslide,” he told Conan O’Brien. “You have Southern states where thirty percent of African-Americans – especially men – can’t vote because they have drug felonies.”

Jones then tied the inequality faced by African-Americans to the larger agenda that liberals are trying to push. “If you care about the environment, you have to care about incarceration because African-Americans are disproportionately incarcerated; disproportionately stripped of our right to vote,” he said. “And then, therefore can’t show up at the polls to vote for Democrats…Whatever you care about, at the end of the day, if you don’t stick up for democracy for everybody, you don’t get democracy for anybody.”

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