Before moving on to the body of this post let me note, I am all in favor of decriminalization of a minor drug like cannabis and a pivot on harder drugs towards medical treatment as opposed to punishment. But, it's incontravertable that society's pivot towards treating Opiate Use as a medical illiness instead of as a criminal act is because the weight of the Criminal Laws are now wrecking white people's lives and not just those in black or brown communities.
All of sudden, white people have begun to experience the horrors the 50 years of Republican War on Drugs has wreaked upon minorities. Harsh Punishment used to be reserved for those people. Now, whites get to see their children's futures ruined over minor non-violent drug possession charges.
As an aside, this is why I don't believe in heightening the contradictions, i.e. allowing Donald Trump to assume the Presidency in order to bring about the perfect left candidate. White Working Class People, the base of the Republican Party, were abso-fucking-lutely fine with harsh laws as long as the long-haired hippies were getting the truncheons and blacks were being incarcerated/ruined for drugs.
Now, that those same rules are applied to them? Well, it's time to re-evaluate the War on Drugs!!!
For the last 5 decades, the Republicon Party at the behest of their Plutocratic Owners, have been dismantling the Progressive Gains of the 20th century, the so-called American Dream. At first they started with black and brown Americans because they knew Whites were enjoying the benefits of Liberal Democratic Society and wouldn't say much.
Unlike, the contention the Democratic Party abandoned the white working class 50 years ago, the Democratic Party decided to make good (as best they could) to the promises made to African-Americans and other marginalized segments of society.
Whites who had nearly been the sole benefactors of New Deal Government Programs became irritated, especially as the Republican Party made sure that any gains for minorities would be taken directly from the pockets of the working class, that other people were being aided by those programs.
Nixon, a master politician, understood this back in 1968 and took advantage to win the Presidency,
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”Ronald Reagan identified the Government, the one now helping poor blacks, as the problem. Of course, while he demonized welfare queens and steak-eatin' young bucks he was busily dismantling the manufacturing base of America. For blacks in the 1980's the loss of economic opportunity in large cities, was thus replaced with Gangs and Drug-based Capitalism.
The continued Republicon assault on the American Worker and Industry and the transition to a finance-based Capitalism as opposed to manufacturing of the 20th century has reached working class whites.
George W(orst POTUS Ever) Bush attempted to delay the full impact of Republicon Capitalism on American Society by trying to swindle Social Security and dumping a massive influx of capital into the hands of the Vultures on Wall Street, but was defeated. If he had been successful perhaps the Republican Recession of 2007 would have been averted for another decade or perhaps just a few years.
In either case, Bush/Cheney would have been a safe enough distance to proclaim it wasn't demonstrably their fault.
Thus, whites who had already seen their good-paying Union jobs and benefits disappear thanks to right-wing Vulture Capitalism saw their home equity and meager retirement savings vanish into Mitt Romney's Cayman Island Bank Accounts and into 50,000 millionaires secret UBS Swiss Bank Accounts.
So, while we've also witnessed the greatest decline in standard of living and life expectancy for working class white people we've seen those same white people turn to the only thriving industry left in America, Drug Dealing.