According to the ACLU’s original analysis, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.Read More
Marijuana legalization has the potential to make a lot of people very rich — a lot of white people, that is. It’s common knowledge that pot prohibition disproportionately affected people of color, but most states have made it difficult for black and brown people to get involved in the legal weed business.
Recently, however, more lawmakers around the country have come to terms with the need to account for race when putting together the details of marijuana legalization. And yet figuring out how, exactly, to write laws that acknowledge the racial biases of the past has proven difficult, mostly due to the legal complications surrounding affirmative action.Read More
We know that the War on Marijuana unnecessarily drags hundreds of thousands of people into the criminal justice system every year for having marijuana. And, because of a new ACLU report, we know that it is Blacks who are disproportionately arrested– despite the fact that Blacks and whites use marijuana at comparable rates.
But something—or someone—is missing here: Latinos.
There are 52 million Latinos in the United States, yet we cannot track whether they, too, are targeted for marijuana possession arrests at disproportionate rates. Why? Because the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), the federal government's data source for national crime statistics, does not keep data on ethnicity, and thus it is impossible to determine if an arrest is of a Latino or non-Latino.
Without this data, we do not have a full picture of how the selective enforcement of marijuana laws impacts all communities of color.Read More
Black Americans were disproportionately targeted in the "war on drugs." Now state laws and steep regulatory costs have left them far more likely to be shut out of America's profitable marijuana boom.Read More