It's getting close to election day, and California's legalization effort is against the ropes. We were expecting an October surprise — you know, those scandal-driven, last-minute, tabloidy headlines designed to change an election.
Instead we got the “Arresting Blacks for Marijuana in California: Possession Arrests in 25 Cities, 2006-08,” report, due to be released Friday … but full of stuff we already knew:
According to the report, which will be presented in Oakland by such Prop. 19 backers as state NAACP presdient Alice Huffman, Drug Policy Alliance director Stephen Gutwillig and actor Danny Glover, 850,000 people have been arrested in the Golden State for minor marijuana possession in the last 20 years.
But the crux of the report focuses on African-Americans and the unfair pot enforcement they face. According to the supporters statement:
From 2006 through 2008, police in 25 of California's major cities arrested blacks at four, five, six, seven and even twelve times the rate of whites.
The City of Los Angeles, with ten percent of California's population, arrested blacks for marijuana possession at seven times the rate of whites.
This is all similar to what's been reported previously. But the proponents of the initiative that would legalize it want to remind voters that if they want this game to change, they have to get out and vote thumbs up for 19 on Nov. 2