“Regardless of intent, it is clear that the continued criminalization of cannabis perpetuates and exacerbates unequal enforcement under the law and the associated harms that come with it. This is not something that we can tolerate in the 21st century, and these findings should incentivize lawmakers to embrace sensible cannabis policy reforms.”
It’s clear that cannabis consumers are targeted in Pennsylvania for arrest and the striking racial disparities to enforcement are getting worse.
Black people make up 12 percent of the population but 32 percent of marijuana arrests.
“The data thus suggest that, although overall search rates dropped in Washington and Colorado, black and Hispanic drivers still faced discrimination in search decisions.”
African Americans in the city of Buffalo (population 257,000) are disproportionately arrested for low-level marijuana possession offenses, according to an analysis of arrest data by the advocacy group Partnership for the Public Good. “[T]he disparities in the number of marijuana possession arrests cannot be explained by a higher use among black or Hispanic people,” authors concluded. “Legalizing marijuana would reduce low-level drug arrests by ten percent, and help reduce racial disparities in overall arrest numbers.”
African Americans in Virginia are arrested for violating marijuana possession laws at more than three times the rates of whites and this disparity is rising, according to an analysis of statewide arrest data by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Capital News Service. Researchers reviewed 160,000 state and local arrest records from the years 2010 through 2016. They found that blacks were 2.9 times as likely as whites to be arrested for possessing marijuana in 2010, but 3.2 times as likely to be arrested by 2016.
In an interview earlier this week with National Public Radio, US Attorney General Eric Holder…
[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To…