Report: Racial Disparities In Arrests Persist With Legal Marijuana

COLORADO:  The legalization of marijuana in Colorado hasn’t solved the racial disparities in enforcement that drug-policy reformers had hoped to end, with blacks still far more likely than whites to be charged with pot-related crimes, a new report says.

The report, issued Wednesday by the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance, showed that marijuana arrests in Colorado all but stopped after voters made the drug legal in small amounts for those 21 and older.

But the report noted continuing racial disparities involving the marijuana crimes that remain, including public use and possession in excess of the one-ounce limit.

The study examined drug arrests in all 64 Colorado counties for two years before and two years after legalization in 2012.

 

“We Are Undermining Human Potential ”: Senator Cory Booker Rails Against Racial Disparities In Marijuana Convictions

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.

NYC Relaxes Response To Marijuana Possession

NEW YORK:  Elected officials and activists in New York are reacting positively to the city’s new policy that loosens how it treats people found in possession of marijuana.

Many had earlier said that young minority males often were the subject of arrests for marijuana possession, and asserted that punishment for what they considered a relatively minor crime could often affect a person’s entire future.

“In light of the fact that there have been a disproportionate amount of blacks and browns subjected to low level marijuana arrests, as well as the fact that many cities around the country are legalizing marijuana use, it is timely for the City of New York to revise its policies,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a New York City-based activist, in a statement.

Starting Nov. 19, anyone found with less than 25 grams of the drug on them will be issued a summons rather than being arrested, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday. The only caveat is there must not be a warrant out for the person’s arrest and they must not be found near a location that presents extra concern, such as a school, according to the city.

Black Entrepreneurs Being Left Out Of Medical Marijuana Boom

FLORIDA:  There’s big money being made in the marijuana legalization movement. But African Americans are still getting screwed when it comes to pot. In fact, black people are being squeezed out of the marijuana game. Even the New York Times, in an op-ed column calling for an end to America’s pot ban, admitted that marijuana laws target African-Americans: “Even worse,” they wrote, “the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.”

A study last year by the American Civil Liberties Union found that a disproportionate number of blacks are arrested for pot than whites are.

Yet as Florida voters prepare to join 23 other states that have legalized marijuana for medical use, many African-Americans will not get the opportunity to get rich doing something they are already good at: selling weed. If Amendment 2 passes in November, the state Department of Revenue projects medical marijuana businesses could make $5.6 billion in annual sales.

Orlando attorney John Morgan has dumped $4 million into the cause, claiming he’s doing it for sick people. The governor’s race is also about the pot. That’s why Morgan is backing Crist. They want to decide who is in charge of the state health department in order to set the regulations and limit who can compete for medical marijuana licenses.

 

The Simple Statistics That Prove Obama's War on Drugs Remains Racist

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta came out in favor of medical marijuana recently. While the science that Gupta claims to have originally missed has been around for years, it’s nice to see someone whose career is grounded in facts to come to this conclusion. President Obama could learn something from Dr. Gupta; it should be easy since he has already shown a penchant for “evolving” when public opinion gets in the way of his previously stated positions. [Read more…]

The Simple Statistics That Prove Obama's War on Drugs Remains Racist

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta came out in favor of medical marijuana recently. While the science that Gupta claims to have originally missed has been around for years, it’s nice to see someone whose career is grounded in facts to come to this conclusion. President Obama could learn something from Dr. Gupta; it should be easy since he has already shown a penchant for “evolving” when public opinion gets in the way of his previously stated positions. [Read more…]

Is the Word “Marijuana” Racist?

CALIFORNIA: It’s been a long journey from the reefer madness of the 1930s and the War on Drugs of the 1980s to the medical marijuana dispensaries of today. As with any changing social norms, reclaiming words or destroying terms with negative connotations has been essential for rights advocates. As Greg Campbell notes in Pot Inc., which centers on his efforts to grow marijuana in his suburban Colorado basement, the pot lexicon, too, is undergoing a transformation: [Read more…]

Portland marijuana advocates evoke Zimmerman verdict, ‘racial component’ to pot legalization

MAINE: Proponents of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Maine’s largest city evoked the controversial George Zimmerman verdict during a Monday news conference in Portland and said laws against pot are used to unfairly target blacks. [Read more…]

Portland marijuana advocates evoke Zimmerman verdict, ‘racial component’ to pot legalization

MAINE: Proponents of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Maine’s largest city evoked the controversial George Zimmerman verdict during a Monday news conference in Portland and said laws against pot are used to unfairly target blacks. [Read more…]