MJ Arrests Outnumber Those for Violent Crimes
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MJ Arrests Outnumber Those for Violent Crimes
Posted by CN Staff on October 12, 2016 at 04:38:09 PT
By Timothy Williams
Source: New York Times
USA -- Arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana exceeded those for all violent crimes last year, a new study has found, even as social attitudes toward the drug have changed and a number of cities and states have legalized its use or decriminalized small quantities.And a disproportionate number of those arrested are African-Americans, who smoke marijuana at rates similar to whites but are arrested and prosecuted far more often for having small amounts for personal use, according to the study. The arrests can overwhelm court systems.
Dianne Jones, 45, who was arrested in New Orleans in 2014 on charges of having a small bag of marijuana, spent 10 days in jail because she could not put up a $2,500 bond. She was able to get enough money together only after her daughter sold the family’s television set at a pawnshop for $200.Later, when Ms. Jones, who is African-American, was unable to pay court-ordered fees and fines, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest.With marijuana use on the rise, law enforcement agencies made 574,641 arrests last year for small quantities of the drug intended for personal use, according to the report, which was released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch. The marijuana arrests were about 13.6 percent more than the 505,681 arrests made for all violent crimes, including murder, rape and serious assaults.The report comes in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott last month in Charlotte, N.C. Mr. Scott, 43, had attracted police attention in part because, the police said, he was smoking marijuana.The report is the latest study to highlight the disparate treatment African-Americans often receive in the criminal justice system, including disproportionate numbers of blacks who are sent to jail when they are unable to pay court-imposed fees, or stopped by the police during traffic stops or while riding bicycles.People arrested for marijuana possession or other minor crimes often have a more difficult time finding work, including Cory, 31, who declined to give his last name out of concern his comments could affect his parole. He said in an interview that he had failed to find a job after 14 months in a Louisiana prison for his fifth offense involving a small quantity of drugs.He said he had been turned down by a fast-food restaurant because of his marijuana conviction, as well as at the restaurant where he worked before his last arrest as a fry cook and dishwasher. “I’ve kind of stopped trying,” said Cory, who is African-American.Tess Borden, a fellow at Human Rights Watch and the A.C.L.U., who wrote the report, found that despite the steep decline in crime rates over the last two decades — including a 36 percent drop in violent crime arrests from 1995 to 2015 — the number of arrests for all drug possessions, including marijuana, increased 13 percent.The emphasis on making marijuana arrests is worrisome, Ms. Borden said.“Most people don’t think drug possession is the No. 1 public safety concern, but that’s what we’re seeing,” she said.Criminologists say that African-Americans are arrested more often than whites and others for drug possession in large part because of questionable police practices.Police departments, for example, typically send large numbers of officers to neighborhoods that have high crime rates. A result is that any offense — including minor ones like loitering, jaywalking or smoking marijuana — can lead to an arrest, which in turn drives up arrest rate statistics, leading to even greater police vigilance.“It is selective enforcement, and the example I like to use is that you have all sorts of drug use inside elite college dorms, but you don’t see the police busting through doors,” said Inimai M. Chettiar, director of the Justice Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.African-Americans may also be more apt to face arrest, according to researchers, because they might be more likely to smoke marijuana outdoors, attracting the attention of the police.The report, which advocates the decriminalization of small quantities of illegal drugs intended for personal use, found that while whites are more likely than blacks to use illicit drugs — including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes — black adults were more than two-and-a-half times as likely to be arrested.In terms of marijuana possession, black adults were more than four times as likely to be arrested as white adults in the 39 states in which sufficient data was available, according to the report.The disparities, the analysis found, persist whether there are few or many African-Americans in a given area.In Iowa, Montana and Vermont — places with relatively small populations of African-Americans — blacks were more than six times as likely to be arrested on drug possession charges than whites.In Manhattan, where blacks make up about 15 percent of the population, African-Americans are nearly 11 times as likely as whites to be arrested on drug possession, according to the report.Ms. Jones, who was arrested in New Orleans with a $10 bag of marijuana, said the warrant for her arrests had been dismissed only after a community group for which she is a volunteer raised the remaining $155 of the $834 she owed the court.“What happened to me shouldn’t happen to anybody,” she said.Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Timothy Williams Published: October 12, 2016Copyright: 2016 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on October 15, 2016 at 05:15:40 PT
My Thoughts on This Total Mess
I cannot wait until Trump isn't on TV 24 hours a day. I am not a Clinton supporter but the Democrats want a pathway to legalization so I will vote for her. Bernie will be listened to or the Democrats are fools. I am too old to wish time away but I want this election over. After we know who wins on November 8th they will turn to marijuana and talk about it. If we win more then we lose and we don't get Trump as President we will continue to move in the correct direction.
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Comment #17 posted by Sam Adams on October 14, 2016 at 18:23:22 PT
Don't fear the Reaper, I mean Trump
He's going to drive massive turnout of young people which will help us score cannabis victories.Perhaps more importantly, new polls are showing that conservative Latino voters are saying they're going to stay home rather than vote Republican (gee, I wonder why??). That is HUGE for us, especially in California, Nevada, and Arizona. They are single worst demographic group for cannabis reform and helped defeat Prop. 19 and gay marriage in California.btw, in honor of Hillary being the first female president and all I am ditching Gary Johnson for this election and voting for Jill Stein, since I am a Green Socialist Libertarian after all.......
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on October 14, 2016 at 17:52:50 PT
Observer comment 10
My guess about their silence... they are more fearful of Trump than Clinton.That's scary.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on October 14, 2016 at 16:44:33 PT
oops'm only bleeding
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on October 14, 2016 at 16:41:41 PT
This is a beautiful view
of my beatnik, coffee house Bob. Poetry.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on October 14, 2016 at 16:25:56 PT
uh oh
Wrong url.This is Halleleujah!
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on October 14, 2016 at 16:22:21 PT
Hallelujah! Bob Dylan live 1988 Ontario love him. I always knew he was the poet of our generation. The poet... among many wonderful poets and composers. I love him. It means a lot to me that he has won this award. The Nobel Prize.That is some kind of cool.He's singing Leonard Cohen here of course. I love it and him, too.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on October 14, 2016 at 13:56:49 PT
I'm wondering
If there are enough of us that will vote that we could make a difference. But, ultimately, I have a sad feeling if we wrote in Senator Sanders enough or enough voted for Governor Johnson, that it still wouldn't matter. Even if one of them got twice as many votes as anyone else. I'm pretty sure the Electoral College would refuse to reflect that.
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Comment #10 posted by observer on October 13, 2016 at 22:47:10 PT
Silence of the Lamb's Bread ?
More cannabis fallout from leaked Pres. Candidate position on pot. In a land where pot often gets more votes than the winning candidate, this is an important issue. So no wonder the fight to keep a lid on this one. (Unless you could pony up for the price of admission. Then you get front row seat.)
High Times Magazine Oddly Silent...; P.J. Gladnick, October 13, 2016;
The MSM is studiously ignoring these unfolding events, so you'll need to go to your favorite non-MSM news sites to see any of it. On the other hand, this is a big deal on many independent marijuana-related sites.
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Comment #9 posted by observer on October 13, 2016 at 14:01:42 PT
Update, Sabet: Dat Boy, He Be Ly-in' results on Kevin Sabet's media claim: No THC. 
In a debate broadcast on the prestigious WGBH "public TV" (public = government) station, Sabet pulled out two un-marked baggies with colorful kiddie candy goodies. One was plain candy for the children. The other, Sabet ominously asserted, had been "sprayed with THC".
Candy kids: poisoned and contaminated: "sprayed with THC" (i.e., bad; wicked; think of the children, etc.).No propaganda there. No-siree, not on that government TV station. Just the gospel truth from angels on that there P.B.S. flagship.Sabet: "sprayed with THC". But he lied unto us.Sort of like holding up yellow Skittles in one baggie and and holding up another baggie with yellow M&Ms
in another, and claiming "one of these has Oxycontin". I note that the false Kevin Sabet used clear, unmarked baggies for his faux edibles. That's because if Sabet actually went and purchased edibles from a cannabis store, they would be clearly marked as such. They would have a label to the effect of "keep out of reach of children". So if Sabet had really and truly shown the packaging of actual edibles, it would have destroyed his poisoning the kiddies argument. When I see Sabet, a prohibition stooge on a government propaganda stage, with his kiddie-candy dope media prop, I remember this infamous ad from the era of Nixon ... ("Hey Kiddies Gather 'round - the Man with the Goodies is Here").
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Comment #8 posted by observer on October 13, 2016 at 11:06:30 PT
Pres. Candidate Privately Against Legal Pot
Pres. Candidate Privately Against Legal Pot ... ... and publicly? That's my political "litmus test": arresting and jailing people for pot. Are they for it, or against it? Or do they weasel on the point, the issue of arresting and jailing people for pot?And remember the term "legalization" (for the MSM - and their political masters), is often a way to prevent people from thinking in concrete ways about about arrests and prison, for pot. A plant. Instead, there's just this vaguely wicked "legalization" that some dopers and druggies are attempting to foist on us. (And don't think about police guns and jail.)
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on October 13, 2016 at 10:47:56 PT
he should be forced to wear military fatigues like Castro in his public appearances - like the rest of the Gestapo
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Comment #6 posted by Vincent on October 12, 2016 at 15:13:08 PT:
Disturbing article, I must say. This is just another illustration of why I hate most cops. The term, "pig", is very appropriate, since it does describe their (the cops) function!
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Comment #5 posted by observer on October 12, 2016 at 12:26:11 PT
Sabet: Nobody Gets Arrested Marijuana Possession?
re: "small bag of marijuana, spent 10 days in jail because she could not put up a $2,500 bond. She was able to get enough money together only after her daughter sold the family’s television set at a pawnshop for $200. Later, when Ms. Jones, who is African-American, was unable to pay court-ordered fees and fines, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest."We see again that marijuana is a tool for government to allow government (police, prosecutors, judges, jailers, socialist workers, etc.) to shake down poor people.  Using pot (scary "drugs") as excuse. So hey: while that may be a raw deal for poor people, it is a wonderful make-work program and cash-cow for government police, government prosecutors, government jailers and judges - and their hirelings. We should think of their children too, shouldn't we? If we legalize marijuana, we lose all those police jobs: good, government jobs with benefits, generous overtime, and retirement plans, full-on medical plans, all sorts of goodies, free educational benefits. So while a few riff-raff scofflaws may get the jail cells (and fines $$$) they richly deserve for breaking the law by using marijuana, just think of all the wonderful benefits reaped by government by arresting and jailing them. First things first. Didn't Kevin Sabet repeatedly tells us that nobody ever gets arrested or goes to jail for marijuana "possession"?  Well, since he's dressed nicely with suit and tie and short hair and has a government resume - and he asserts his woozles and factoids with a straight face - people sometimes believe him in a debate. For a moment, he is believed. Until people spend a few minutes with google and then Sabet's lies fall apart. But Sabet seems credible enough, superficially. In the moment. Speaking of Sabet, it looks like he got himself into a bit of hot water over his antics ... If a drug-law reformer tried that, he's find himself in prison assembling kevlar helmets for 25 cents a day, paying $5 for a roll of toilet-paper.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on October 12, 2016 at 12:18:25 PT
Ms. Jones
I'm so sorry this happened to you. You are right. What happened to you shouldn't happen to anybody.I'm sorry.As a reformer, I am truly grieved that not all these unjust laws are reformed yet.I'm truly sorry.Isaiah 10New International Version (NIV)10 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
  to those who issue oppressive decrees,
2 to deprive the poor of their rights
  and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
  and robbing the fatherless.
3 What will you do on the day of reckoning,
  when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
  Where will you leave your riches?
4 Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
  or fall among the slain.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
  his hand is still upraised.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on October 12, 2016 at 12:06:24 PT
This is not good... but not especially surprising.
Democratic and Republican doctors treat patients differently
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on October 12, 2016 at 11:56:50 PT
Prohibitionists should be so ashamed.
They should be deeply ashamed. They should be horribly ashamed. But, they're not. They have no conscience. Their consciences have been seared over... with lies and propaganda and they believe it... and their consciences are seared over by the flames of the lies. They don't know right from wrong.They say, "It's the law." They are merely, "Following orders". They have no conscience. Isn't that handy for them?Prohibitionists are not "Respectable". Prohibitionists are not "Honorable". Prohibitionists are not "Honest". Prohibitionists are dishonest and despicable. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 12, 2016 at 05:16:30 PT
Support for MJ Legalization Continues To Rise
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