See? Marijuana Prohibition Really Is Racist (And I'd Also Say Religicist Too But I Don't Think That's A Word)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I've been saying this for - well - forever now - but it's always nice to see other people bringing it up:

Not surprisingly, given the way drug laws are traditionally enforced in this country, the burden has fallen disproportionately on people of color, and on young black men in particular. According to the CJCJ, half of California's marijuana possession arrestees were nonwhite in 1990 and 28% were under age 20. Last year, 62% were nonwhite and 42% were under age 20. Marijuana possession arrests of youth of color rose from about 3,100 in 1990 to about 16,300 in 2008 -- an arrest surge 300% greater than the rate of population growth in that group.

Even more disturbing, African Americans account for an even higher portion of all marijuana felony arrests. Blacks make up less than 7% of the state population but 22% of people arrested for all marijuana offenses and 33% of all marijuana felony arrests. More African Americans are arrested in California for marijuana felonies than are whites, even though whites are six times more represented in the state population.

The overrepresentation of African Americans is not explained by use rates. According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the percentage of African Americans and whites who use marijuana over any 30-day period are similar. However, for the 18-25 age group -- which constitutes a substantial proportion of marijuana arrests -- African Americans regularly use marijuana at rates lower than whites (16.5% and 18.4%, respectively), indicating that their overrepresentation may be even more profound.
Who's got a White Owl?

Slant Eye For The Round Eye does not condone the selling or purchasing of illegal substances, however if you happen to find yourself in a field full of THE POT, technically then, you really aren't doing anything illegal, and if it so happens that a leaf or two (or an amount that can fit into a small baggie) happens to find its way into your pockets as you run out of the field screaming for your life (because no one should be subjected to the horror that is a field of pot) - I don't think anyone's really going to blame you.