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On 4/20, ACLU Highlights Racist Marijuana Enforcement In New Report

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a report titled “The War on Marijuana in Black and White” in 2013, which highlights the racial bias and financial waste of the United States’ counterproductive fight against marijuana. Source

The report states that between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million marijuana-related arrests in the US, with one bust every 37 seconds. The report also highlights that despite similar usage rates, Black people are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people. Source

The report has been updated in 2020 with the title “A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform”. The updated report examines marijuana arrests from 2010 to 2018 and examines racial disparities at the national, state, and county levels. Source

In April 2020, the ACLU released a new report that reveals that while overall arrests are way down in states that have ended prohibition, racial disparities in remaining enforcement persist in those places. Meanwhile, some still-criminalized states are arresting black people for cannabis at almost ten times the rate that whites are busted. Source

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