Racial Disparities Arrests Persist With Legal Pot
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Racial Disparities Arrests Persist With Legal Pot
Posted by CN Staff on March 25, 2015 at 07:41:22 PT
By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Denver -- Not surprisingly, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has reduced pot arrests, but a newly released study says it doesn't solve one of the central goals of drug-policy reformers: ending racial disparities in enforcement.A report from the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance released Wednesday showed that marijuana arrests in Colorado all but stopped after voters made the drug legal in small amounts for adults over 21. The report examined drug-related arrests in all 64 Colorado counties for two years before and two years after legalization in 2012.
The total number of charges for pot possession, distribution and cultivation fell almost 95 percent, from about 39,000 in 2010 to just over 2,000 last year.But the report noted continuing racial inequalities.Even after legalization, black people were more than twice as likely as white people to be charged with public consumption of marijuana, which remains a crime. Blacks were also much more likely to be charged with illegal cultivation of pot or possession in excess of the state limit, which is an ounce."I don't think young black or brown people are more likely to flout marijuana law than white people," said Art Way, Colorado director for the Drug Policy Alliance. "Legalization is no panacea for the longtime issues that law enforcement had with the black and brown community."The analysis did not break out arrest data for Colorado's largest ethnic minority, Latinos. That's because data comes from National Incident-Based Reporting System, which does not tally numbers for Latinos.The arrest figures speak to broader racial disparities and do not indicate that police officers are targeting people of color for remaining marijuana crimes, said Tom Gorman of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program."Racial disparities exist in other laws. What does that mean, that homicide law, rape laws, weapon laws are racist? There are other factors going on here that we need to address," Gorman said.The news wasn't all bad.After legalization, racial disparities did ease somewhat for marijuana distribution charges. Black people accounted for about 22 percent of Colorado distribution arrests in 2010 and about 18 percent of such arrests in 2014.The arrest data got a mixed response from the regional head of the NAACP."The overall decrease in arrests, charges and cases is enormously beneficial to communities of color who bore the brunt of marijuana prohibition prior to (legalization)," Rosemary Harris Lytle said in a statement."However, we are concerned with the rise in disparity for the charge of public consumption and challenge law enforcement to ensure this reality is not discriminatory in any manner."In 2014, the year Colorado's recreational marijuana stores opened, black people accounted for 3.9 percent of the population, but they made up 9.2 percent of marijuana possession arrests.For illegal marijuana cultivation, the disparities didn't just persist. They got much worse.In 2010, whites in Colorado were slightly more likely than blacks to be arrested for marijuana cultivation. After legalization, the arrest rate for whites dropped dramatically but ticked up for blacks. In 2014, the arrest rate for blacks was roughly 2.5 times higher.The Drug Policy Alliance did not conduct a similar arrest analysis in Washington state, which also legalized pot in 2012. But racial disparities appear to have persisted in that state, too.Last September, Seattle's elected prosecutor dropped all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of 2014 because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagreed with the legal pot law.About one-third of those tickets were issued to blacks, who make up about 8 percent of Seattle's population.Drug-policy activists noted that despite persistent racial disparities, the remaining pot crimes are generally less severe. They described the overall drop in pot crimes as a positive development."What is often overlooked concerning marijuana legalization is that it is first and foremost a criminal justice reform," Denise Maes, Public Policy Director for the ACLU of Colorado, said in a statement.Associated Press writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press Published: March 25, 2015Copyright: 2015 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis  Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on March 26, 2015 at 11:18:06 PT
We need those cannabis prohibitionists to keep talking.
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on March 26, 2015 at 09:56:28 PT
Christie is obese
That means he cannot control his cravings. He is physical eveadence of his glutinous personality.He see's pot money as blood money? He loves blood saugage sandwiches. He likes his mčat cooked blood rare. He wears oxblood wingtips, has bloodshot eyes from drinking to many bloody marys. He likes blood in everything but his pot money. But sillyness aside, were's the blood in pot money. What a stupid, uninformed, inflammatory, republican thing to say!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 26, 2015 at 07:22:47 PT
Governor Christie Says...
Gov. Christie: Tax Revenue From Marijuana Sales Is ‘Blood Money’URL:
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on March 25, 2015 at 17:12:43 PT
like anything is going to change
EVERYTHING in the USA is rascist, and we're not even allowed to talk about it!  We've been led to believe that if nobody says the N-word again then we've fixed racism forever! Meanwhile we've got a genocidal war on against blacks and latinos - rounding them up for prison at levels not seen anywhere in the world since WWII.Several towns in my state have curfew laws that were passed expressly to move Brazilian people out of public parks and shopping malls. USA is a HUGELY rascist country - we are living under martial law!
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Comment #1 posted by observer on March 25, 2015 at 14:58:02 PT
Divide and Rule, Divide and Conquer
re: "one of the central goals of drug-policy reformers: ending racial disparities in enforcement."That is a straw man, as drug-policy reformers never wanted parity of racial arrest rates - instead they want traditional freedoms over their very own bodies, returned to them. Yes, the gaping huge blatant racial differences in arrest rates is egg on the prohibitionists' faces, to be sure: a horrible stain on the motives and means and ends of the drug warriors, and their unsavoury camp-followers. But drug reformers (at least most of them I have heard from, expressed in the official writings of organizations like NORML DPA MPP and so on), never expressed any notion that racial inequalities would somehow disappear from American society should pot be re-legalized. Here's something else that legalizing pot won't do: legalizing pot (I'm sorry to admit) isn't a cure-all for every mental or bodily disease imaginable. It will cure and remedy a great many maladies, to be sure. But a magical panacea? Also, if 10% of the population smokes pot, there will still be scoundrels, mentally ill, murderers amongst that 10% of the population. Pot will not magically erase moral wrong-doing from men. So, like this AP (Mockingbird/MSM) article does, expect Mockingbird (police-state servicing, MSM) media to try to cherry-pick and highlight the pot use of every murderer, every criminal, to use every bit of mud the MSM can sling on pot and its users. While simultaneously studiously not noticing the falling murder rate where pot is legal, the falling automobile accident rates where pot is legal, the falling suicide rates where pot is legal, the rising employment rates, and so on. The prohibitionist recipe seems to be, "Play up the cherry-picked fears uncertainties and doubts, and ignore pot's many benefits." There are lots of people alive today in Colorado and Washington state because of legalization. And there are lots of folks who are free to gainfully earn livings as free people in those states, who would be rotting in jail under continued pot prohibition. Of all different races.Divide and RuleThere's a major push in MSM/government/mockingbird propaganda to use divide and rule techniques. the way that police-state brutality, which affects people of all races and ages in the USA, is painted as a black vs white issue. Pure divide and conquer technique. Look for a cleavage point, and fan the flames. Notice that the media carefully emphasizes the racist white cop vs black man narrative. U.S. police in 2015 are equal opportunity when it comes to trying to escalate situations to provoke you to do something, so that the cop can (lie) and claim self defense, after they murder you. But the mockingbird MSM seems interested only when it can use such incidents to divide people. Divide and rule: divide and conquer.
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