California: Study Says Latinos Disproportionately Arrested For Minor Marijuana Crimes

Latinos use marijuana at lower rates in than whites yet they are prosecuted for minor cannabis possession offenses in most major California cities at “double to nearly triple” the rate of Caucasians, according to a report released today by The Drug Policy Alliance and the William C. Velasquez Institute.

Among some of the California cities profiled:

* The City of Los Angeles, with ten percent of California’s population, arrested Latinos for marijuana possession at twice the rate of whites.

* In San Jose, the third largest city in the state, Latinos are 31 percent of the population but 54 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession. Police in San Jose arrested Latinos at 2.2 times the rate of whites.

* In Glendale, Latinos are 17.4 percent of the population of almost 200,000, but comprise 30 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession. Glendale police arrested Latinos at a rate of 981 per 100,000 — the highest Latino arrest rate for any of the 33 cities profiled.

In conjunction with the release of today’s report, members of the National Latino Officers Association attended a press conference in Los Angeles to publicly announce their support for Proposition 19, California’s ballot measure to regulate the adult, non-medical use and possession of marijuana.

The NLOA joins a broad range of leading criminal justice, civil rights and religious organizations in favor of Prop. 19. These include the National Black Police Association, the California Council of Churches IMPACT, the California National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the California League of United Latin American Citizens, the Latino Voters League, the Progressive Jewish Alliance and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Western States Council.

Today’s study is a follow up to a report released last week by the Drug Policy Alliance that found that from 2006 to 2008, African Americans were arrested for marijuana possession offenses in California’s 25 largest cities at at four, five, six, seven and even twelve times the rate of whites.

Full text of today’s study, “Arresting Latinos for Marijuana in California: Possession Arrests in 33 Cities, 2006-08” is available online here.

11 thoughts

  1. This is absurd latino’s are no threat and the police are just getting confused if MJ were legalized we would not have to deal with kind of shit

  2. ………..and in other news

    The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has set a January deadline for bringing back a plan of action to create a medical marijuana ordinance.

    After more than a year of discussion, the board voted 4-0 Tuesday to have the board’s subcommittee — headed by 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace and 1st District Supervisor Jimmy Smith — to present a plan no later than Jan. 11, 2011. Smith was not present at the meeting.

    The Humboldt Growers Association presented the board with its proposed medical marijuana ordinance, which would regulate outdoor marijuana grows with canopy areas larger than 100 square feet through a permitting process that lays out requirements for both applicants and farms.

    HGA lobbyist Max Del Real said he has been in communication with Sacramento, San Joaquin and Orange counties on the same subject.

    ”You can set a precedent for the rest of California to follow,” Del Real said. “If you do not act — and this is a statement of fact — others will.”

    Fourth District Supervisor Bonnie Neely, who co-sponsored a workshop on the ordinance earlier this month, made a motion for the subcommittee to consider the ordinance, with some amendments from Lovelace and 5th District Supervisor Jill Duffy.

  3. Ummmm, what happened to the blog entry on the TV commercial money bomb??? That was really REALLY important – we’re going to need all the help we can get down the stretch. Not to gripe too much, but stories like this are kind of preaching to the choir… We know prohibition is a failure, and we know it’s discriminatory. What the movement should be focusing on in the last week before the election is doing EVERYTHING IT CAN to reach audiences outside of the readership of this blog. Just my $.02.

    [Paul Armentano: NORML e-zine subscribers received a separate e-mail message re: the money bomb today.]

  4. I consider these facts you have giving us some additional ammunition under the heading of “talking about hemp and cannabis with truth, honesty and compassion” and just another reason to legalize and regulate. Wisconsin is moving FORWARD with reform.

    Candidates are on the ballots everywhere, it is our job to vote smart!

  5. Glendale has a long history of being racist, though I thought things had changed…not some things I guess.

  6. That’s because L.A. has Cooley. If Cooley gets elected Attorney General – hold on to your hats. This guy DOES NOT obey the law. It will be like having the fox guard the hen house. That would be looney toons!

  7. add me on facebook under gerald roberts in north carolina and help us fight to legalize marajuana here and every where so please send me an add request on facebook

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