Blacks and Whites use marijuana at the same rate but Blacks are arrested at a higher rate.

Posted By Levi

June 16th, 2013 6:55pm

Category: Illegal Drugs


Just finished reading this new massive report by the ACLU entitled “The War on Marijuana – In Black and White. The report confirms something that many of us have long been aware of. Even though Blacks used marijuana about the same rate as Whites, Blacks are arrested for marijuana possession at a much higher rate.

From the report:

“The war on marijuana has largely been a war on people of color. Despite the fact that marijuana is used at comparable rates by whites and Blacks, state and local governments have aggressively enforced marijuana laws selectively against Black people and communities.

In 2010, the Black arrest rate for marijuana possession was 716 per 100,000, while the white arrest rate was 192 per 100,000. Stated another way, a Black person was 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person — a disparity that increased 32.7% between 2001 and 2010. It is not surprising that the War on Marijuana, waged with far less fanfare than the earlier phases of the drug war, has gone largely, if not entirely, unnoticed by middle- and upper-class white communities.

In the states with the worst disparities, Blacks were on average over six times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. In the worst offending counties across the country Blacks were over 10, 15, even 30 times more likely to be arrested than white residents in the same county.

These three charts tell the whole story.

The first one shows that Blacks and Whites used marijuana about the same rate.

marijuana use 1

 However, marijuana use among the 18-25 age group is slightly higher among Whites.

marijuana use 2

Now look at the arrest rates for marijuana possession.

marijuana use 3

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