NEW JERSEY: “This is one of those issues, like the civil rights movement of the 1960s, where it should pull all Americans together to say enough is enough,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) told Vox.
The Senator is baffled by the fact that both groups, Black and White, use and sell marijuana at the same rate, but African Americans are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for it. In New Jersey, Booker said, African Americans make up just 14.7 percent of the population but account for 61 percent of the prison population.
“You go to college campuses and you’ll get white drug dealers. I know this from my own experience of growing up and going to college myself,” Booker told Vox. “Fraternity houses are not being raided by police at the level you see with communities in inner cities.”
Booker is also rattled by the overwhelming number of prisoners incarcerated for drug-related crimes. Meanwhile, prisoners who are arrested for violent, more severe crimes are drastically lower. In 2013, nearly 100,000 prisoners were jailed for drug-related violations; in the same year, just under 10,000 were incarcerated for violent crimes.