Fuck Yeah Drug Policy

DOCUMENTING NYC’S MARIJUANA ARREST CRUSADE

U.S. government studies have consistently found that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young blacks or Latinos. Yet, in 2010, the New York Police Department  arrested blacks for marijuana possession at seven times the rate of whites, and Latinos at nearly four times the rate of whites. In New York City 87% of the people arrested for marijuana possession are blacks and Latinos. 

New York City’s racially-biased marijuana arrests are extreme, but they are not unusual. Large cities and counties throughout the United States arrest blacks and Latinos for marijuana possession at three, four, five, and up to ten times or more the rate of whites. Los Angeles arrests blacks at seven times the rate of whites, just as New York City does. Chicago does as well. Along with DNA collection for misdemeanors and other policing policies, this produces an institutional form of unjust discrimination that some have termed “racism without racists.” The law professor and scholar Michelle Alexander has rightly described this as “the new Jim Crow.” +

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