Study: Blacks Are Singled Out For Marijuana Arrests
We all know that white people not only smoke weed, but they do all kinds of other stuff that police never try to find out about. Go to any college campus, and you’ll find a whole string of drugs from the best to the worst. But authorities now find that black people are an acceptable commodity and are always glad to lock black men up for small amounts of marijuana. The system is just sick.
A new study shows that black Americans are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. But they don’t smoke it more, so what’s the issue? Racism is the issue, that’s what. The disparities are greatest in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, where blacks are eight times more likely to get arrested.
During the same period, public attitudes toward marijuana softened and a number of states decriminalized its use. But about half of all drug arrests in 2011 were on marijuana-related charges, roughly the same portion as in 2010.
Advocates for the legalization of marijuana have criticized the Obama administration for having vocally opposed state legalization efforts and for taking a more aggressive approach than the Bush administration in closing medical marijuana dispensaries and prosecuting their owners in some states, especially Montana and California.
The new data, however, offers a more nuanced picture of marijuana enforcement on the state level. Drawn from police records from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the report is the most comprehensive review of marijuana arrests by race and by county, and it is part of a report being released this week by the American Civil Liberties Union. Much of the data was also independently reviewed for The New York Times by researchers at Stanford University.
“We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner,” said Ezekiel Edwards, the director of the A.C.L.U.’s Criminal Law Reform Project and the lead author of the report.