Marijuana: Black Tokers 4 Times More Likely to Get Arrested

Marijuana: Black Tokers 4 Times More Likely to Get Arrested
bobmarley.com

Who says police still profile minorities? The ACLU, that's who.

It's latest research says that black Americans are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for a marijuana-related crime than white people. Do they smoke four times as much weed? Yes: Because of Snoop Dogg. We kid. This is a serious problem:

Things are getting worse. The ACLU report, "The War on Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests," says "racial disparities" in marijuana arrests in America have actually grown in the last 10 years.

Some of the most backwater counties examined by the group found that African Americans were 30 times more likely to be arrested for pot-related allegations than whites, the ACLU says.

The bottom line, at least for this civil-liberties group, is that arresting people for lightweight cannabis crime costs us all a lot more than it's worth -- billions of dollars in incarceration, missed work, missed lives, and missed opportunities.

The organization says we spent $3.61 billion in 2010 to enforce marijuana possession laws.

Marijuana: Black Tokers 4 Times More Likely to Get Arrested
bobmarley.com

The ACLU:

... Marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana.

If this applied to Los Angeles, the medical marijuana capital of the nation, half of L.A. would be locked up by now.

The group wants all states to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis. Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project and one of the primary authors of the report:

The war on marijuana has disproportionately been a war on people of color. State and local governments have aggressively enforced marijuana laws selectively against Black people and communities, needlessly ensnaring hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system at tremendous human and financial cost.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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