Blacks and Whites Use Pot At About the Same Rate, But Blacks Get Arrested for Pot Possession a Lot More

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From a report by the ACLU:

In Morgan and Pike Counties, AL, Blacks make up just over 12% and 37% of the population, respectively, but account for 100% of the marijuana possession arrests.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure. But across the country, it turns out, African Americans are arrested for pot possession at far higher rates than whites even though usage rates are about the same. Keith Humphreys points out that this is partly because marijuana laws have been loosened primarily in whiter areas of the country. At a guess, some of this might also be due to the use of possession charges as a plea bargain from more serious charges. Nonetheless, this accounts for only a fraction of the difference. The rest is most likely racially motivated, as the chart on the right makes clear. Black arrest rates are higher than white arrest rates—usually a lot higher—in every single one of the 25 biggest counties in the country.

More here from the ACLU study. The full report is here.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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