TIME Mag: Blacks, Bias, and Marijuana — Did Drug Stigma Contribute to Trayvon Martin's Death?



"Martin's possible experimentation with pot should be no threat to his reputation. The research on marijuana and violence shows clearly that the drug either reduces aggression or has no effect - findings that fall in line with pop culture's mellow image of stoners. The idea that marijuana makes people dangerous is as absurd as the claim that wearing a hoodie is suspicious," TIME writes.

"Here, it's useful to remember that the nation's vehement antidrug rhetoric is rooted in explicit racism. For example, the first state laws banning cocaine were passed in response to media reports about how the drug made black men homicidal, prone to raping white women and, worst of all to the police, impervious to bullets. An article about the issue in the New York Times in 1914 was headlined "Negro Cocaine ‘Fiends' Are a New Southern Menace."

"Indeed, the drug most likely to lead to violent behavior is not illegal: it's alcohol."