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Wed Jun 5, 2013, 11:33 AM

ACLU Report: The War on Marijuana in Black and White

posting as an OP in this forum for reference


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.

Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.

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Reply ACLU Report: The War on Marijuana in Black and White (Original post)
RainDog Jun 2013 OP
In_The_Wind Jun 2013 #1
RainDog Jun 2013 #2
In_The_Wind Jun 2013 #3
pgallahue Jun 2013 #4

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 11:52 AM

1. This is truth that hurts everyone!

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 11:59 AM

2. Slate provides some info on the report


The report finds that between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million marijuana arrests in the United States, 88% of which were for possession. Marijuana arrests have increased between 2001 and 2010 and now account for over half (52%) of all drug arrests in the United States, and marijuana possession arrests account for nearly half (46%) of all drug arrests. In 2010, there was one marijuana arrest every 37 seconds, and states spent combined over $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws.

(The article talks about "Stop and Frisk" policies as a reason for the increase in possession arrests.) You can blame a lot of this on the controversial “broken windows” theory of policing, which essentially maintains that minor violations beget major ones, and that you can combat violent crime by rigorously enforcing small quality-of-life offenses. You can also blame data-driven police initiatives like COMPSTAT, which meticulously track crime statistics on a precinct-by-precinct basis. In theory, programs like COMPSTAT are supposed to promote accountability, and a more precise deployment of police resources. In practice, they put cops under tremendous pressure to show continuous improvement in their precincts, and, as such, condone arrest quotas, stop-and-frisk policies, and other tactics that look good on the stat sheets even as they wreck neighborhoods.

But you can also blame the federal government. While the current federal drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, has spoken about the need to treat marijuana use as a public health matter rather than a strictly criminal one, others in the federal government aren’t nearly as progressive. The ACLU report talks about a federal program called the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, which doles out funding to police departments in large part based on the number of drug arrests they make. With municipal budgets strapped, police departments depend on these sorts of federal grants. The “public health” approach to marijuana will never be viable as long as JAG funding and similar programs are essential to departments’ survival.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 01:03 PM

3. This program is the same as paying a bonus for services provided over and above the norm.

IMO: Keeping marijuana arrests up is big business for everyone.


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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 04:45 AM

4. Hard to fathom

I think I read that in one county African Americans accounted for 12% of the population and 100% of the marijuana arrests. Whatever one thinks of drug policy reform this is horrific.

Moreover, some indicators show the situation is actually getting worse over time.

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