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Pull quote: Though they use marijuana less, more blacks than whites are arrested for pot possession

Smoking Marijuana "White people between the ages of 18 and 25 use marijuana at a higher rate than their black peers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, so you would naturally assume that young white people would also have a higher arrest rate for marijuana possession than young black people. But that's not the case. A report released last week found that police in California's biggest cities arrest blacks for possession at four, five and even 13 times the rate of whites. It is this unequal enforcement of the marijuana laws -- and the consequences for the African American community -- that have led the California NAACP, along with the National Black Police Assn., to support Proposition 19. This page opposes Proposition 19, but regardless of whether the measure succeeds or fails, the racial inequity is real and should not continue unaddressed."

-- Oct. 27 editorial, "Marijuana profiling"


Photo: Medical Kush Beach Club, a medical marijuana dispensary on the Venice Beach boardwalk. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 

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Paul Pot

Anyone who has ever been searhed raided by the police will understand these figures. They are cowardly rascist bigots who enjoy nothing more than a little hunt and kill the quarry. Poor and marginalized people are the best choice of target as they have the least means to retaliate.

Joseph

No "racial inequity".No "unequal enforcement"
Young blacks, 18 to 25, have a much higher percentage of criminality than whites. When the police investigate them for other criminal activity, not drug-related, they are also found in possession of drugs.And that's why they have a higher arrest rate for possession.


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