Across All 50 States, Blacks Four Times as Likely as Whites to be Arrested on Charges of Marijuana Possession


Source: Urban Intellectuals

Even as some states are decriminalizing marijuana and attitudes are changing, Blacks are still being singled out for arrest and prosecution.

From the New York Times:

“…Black Americans were nearly four times as likely than whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though the two groups used the drug at similar rates, according to new federal data…This disparity had grown steadily from a decade before, and in some states, including Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, blacks were around eight times as likely to be arrested…

stop-and-friskSo  the justice system isn’t getting fairer or more lenient as Americans soften on marijuana usage. This report is even more damning when one considers that it wasn’t taken from a specific region or state, but as a snapshot of the entire country:

Drawn from police records from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the report is the most comprehensive review of marijuana arrests by race and by county and is part of a report being released this week by the American Civil Liberties Union.

This demonstrates that although there have been changes in attitudes toward marijuana, Blacks haven’t been the beneficiaries of those shifts since police still single them out.

“We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner,” said Ezekiel Edwards, the director of the A.C.L.U.’s Criminal Law Reform Project.

The study also found that the bias in arrests were consistent among both small and large minority populations.


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