Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: June 16th, 2013
Marijuana arrests racially biased

African-Americans are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as whites. That’s despite the fact that both groups use the drug at the same rate. So indicates a study released by the American Civil Liberties Union, which it says clearly shows that the war on marijuana has been racially biased.

The more shocking numbers reflect that in some areas, the arrests of blacks are more than 30 times that of their white counterparts.

According to the New York Times, the study was “based on law enforcement data from 50 states and the District of Columbia, is the most detailed of its kind so far. Marijuana arrests have risen sharply over the last two decades and now make up about half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the more than eight million marijuana arrests made between 2001 and 2010, nearly 90 percent were for possession. There were nearly 900,000 marijuana arrests in 2010 — 300,000 more than for all violent crimes combined.”

The report also encourages legalization of the drug for anyone over 21, in all 50 states.

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