Would Officer Poncherello be down for Prop. 19? His '70s afro says yes.
Would Officer Poncherello be down for Prop. 19? His '70s afro says yes.

Latino Police Officers' Group Backs California Marijuana Legalization Effort

The Yes on 19 campaign on Tuesday announced that a major Latino police officers' group will endorse the marijuana-legalization initiative that goes before California voters next Tuesday.

The National Latino Officers Association was scheduled to give pot legalization its thumbs up Wednesday morning at the William C. Velasquez Institute in L.A.'s Lincoln Park community.

At the same time, the Yes on 19 folks will release a study showing that Latinos have been disproportionately arrested under current marijuana laws.

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According to the study, titled, "Arresting Latinos for Marijuana in California," "In the City of Los Angeles, where one in ten Californians live, police arrested Latinos for marijuana possession at twice the rate of whites."

It also states that from 1990 to 2009, "the marijuana possession arrest rate of Latino teenagers in California more than tripled."

What's the point? To scare the all-important Latino vote into approving Prop. 19, which would allow the 21-and-older set to possess up to one ounce of cannabis.

The study argues that even though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law that will make possession of a small amount of pot a ticket-worthy offense (an infraction), cops will still target spliff-holding Latinos and African-Americans at higher rates.



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