Government Data Suggests That Blacks Are Singled Out For Marijuana Arrests

marijuana possession arrests

What does one call laws that are selectively enforced on different segments of the population? The New York Times reports:

Black Americans were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though the two groups used the drug at similar rates, according to new federal data.

Though there has been a shift in state laws and in popular attitudes about the drug, black and white Americans have experienced the change very differently. 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.

“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. In 2010, states spent an estimated $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws, a 30 percent increase from 10 years earlier.

13 Comments on "Government Data Suggests That Blacks Are Singled Out For Marijuana Arrests"

  1. emperorreagan | Jun 5, 2013 at 9:42 am |

    Oh! Oh! Pick me! I know!

    • emperorreagan | Jun 5, 2013 at 11:37 am |

      The way a story is framed is interesting.

      Framed as a systemic issue where cops practice racial profiling, racism being inherent in the judicial system, etc., you’ll find plenty of support and people lamenting about how unfair it is.

      If you frame this story as white privilege, you’d get dozens of comments where people try to explain that they’re not privileged.

      It’s the exact same concept from two different perspectives.

      • Anarchy Pony | Jun 5, 2013 at 11:51 am |

        Nobody wants to think that they’re part of the problem.

      • BuzzCoastin | Jun 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm |

        I agree there is some privilege that comes with being white
        but it’s a privilege with limited benefits
        it only saves a white person from the first few levels of pig harassment
        but if you’re a poor white redneck, a gov whistle-blower or a pedophile
        you’re next inline
        and whistle-blowers go to the head of the line

        to be accurate
        this is a white wealthy elite privilege
        that banksters love and protect

        • emperorreagan | Jun 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

          It’s the elites that moralized about race and fanned the flames of racism – just as it was they who moralized about where a woman’s place should be.

          And it’s the same people who tell lies today, about this being a meritocracy, post racial, or otherwise equitable…about pretending the legacies of access to wealth, education, justice, housing, etc. aren’t still in play.

          It’s for precious little that the wealthy elite have bought off one group and pitted them against another throughout history.

          • BuzzCoastin | Jun 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm |

            however, this is not relegated to white Europeans
            another strange thing I’ve noticed about the skin color White
            everywhere on Earth I’ve been
            it’s the same prejudice
            all Asian societies grade themselves by skin color
            the lighter, whiter the skin the better
            the Japanese have taken that to extreme levels (as usual)
            but, on the other hand
            darker skin doesn’t seem to have the same downside
            (jail, poverty, persecution)
            that effects dark skinned minorities in white kunteries

          • emperorreagan | Jun 6, 2013 at 9:05 am |

            I would speculate that having lighter skin would traditionally be associated with being among the elite in many cultures for the following reason:

            Most work was conducted outside. If you were pale, you could afford to not work and thus had more wealth/power. Similar to having a big belly also signified higher status in many cultures. If you could afford to eat well and not work hard, then you had more wealth/power.

            I would guess that the downside in white countries is because of the nature of the european slave trade. Other places may not be dealing with the aftermath (or ongoing efforts in many of the countries like the US) of an elite class that so openly nurtured racism as a means of protecting their wealth & power.

  2. This is news perhaps only to white people in the suburbs.

  3. Anarchy Pony | Jun 5, 2013 at 11:30 am |

    Unpossible! We’re living in a post racial society!

  4. Apathesis | Jun 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm |

    Shouldn’t people with all the advantages in life be punished more severely than those who live in fear of being murdered or wondering when they’ll eat a decent meal again?

  5. BuzzCoastin | Jun 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

    there is abosfuckiglutly no question
    that Blacks & dark skinned minorities are the targets of racist persecutors
    that has been going on in aMerka since Columbus “discovered” it

  6. If Black and others were not selfish and start fighting this would not be an issue.

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