War on Marijuana Racially Biased

NEW DATA CASTS WAR ON DRUGS IN DIFFERENT LIGHT

ACLU National recently released the results of a nationwide study on marijuana arrests. While there were varying results for each state, the arrest data revealed one nationally consistent trend: significant racial bias.

Despite roughly equal usage rates, blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.

The study also indicated that, nationally, we are over-policing marijuana possession. Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. That’s one bust every 37 seconds and hundreds of thousands ensnared in the criminal justice system.

Enforcing marijuana laws costs us about $3.6 billion a year, yet the War on Marijuana has failed to diminish the use or availability of marijuana.

THE TRENDS IN DELAWARE

Results from across the country have been staggering, and Delaware is no different. Delaware had the second highest percentage increase (102%) for marijuana possession arrest rates from 2001 to 2010, trailing only Montana. Additionally, in 2010, Delaware had the 7th highest per capita fiscal expenditure to enforce marijuana possession laws. Considering the ineffectiveness and racial bias involved, it appears that the War on Marijuana has been a waste of money and police resources that could be better invested in our community.

TAKE ACTION

Police shouldn’t be rewarded for making racially biased, wasteful arrests. Sign the petition to tell the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder to stop awarding tax dollars to police departments for aggressively policing low-level offenders.

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