Judicial Watch • Push To Legalize Pot Over Minority Arrests

Push To Legalize Pot Over Minority Arrests

Push To Legalize Pot Over Minority Arrests

OCTOBER 28, 2010

The nation’s oldest civil rights group is pushing for the legalization of marijuana because a disproportionate number of minorities get arrested for possessing the highly addictive illicit drug even though white people use it at a much higher rate.

The rather bizarre argument to legalize criminal behavior was announced recently by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which refers to marijuana reform as a civil rights issue. The influential national organization that strives to eliminate race-based discrimination is advocating on behalf of a California measure (Proposition 19) to legalize pot.

As Election Day nears, the NAACP is promoting a report (“Arresting Blacks for Marijuana in California) that reveals in California blacks get arrested for marijuana possession four to 12 times more often than whites even though whites use the drug a lot more. Of the 500,000 arrests for marijuana possession in the last decade, a disproportionate number were “African-American and Latino,” according to the report which was published by a national group that promotes drug policies based on “compassion” and “human rights.”

In the state’s largest city, Los Angeles, blacks are arrested for possession of marijuana at seven times the rate of whites, the report says. In San Diego they’re arrested at six times the rate and in the L.A. County city of Torrance, blacks are arrested almost 14 times as often as whites for pot-related offenses. The “racially-biased marijuana arrests” are a “system-wide phenomenon” occurring in nearly every California police department, the study found.

A separate pot report (“Arresting Latinos For Marijuana In California”) by the same group, Drug Policy Alliance, reveals that Hispanics in the Golden State are generally arrested for marijuana crimes at triple the rate of whites. In cities with large Hispanic populations, such as Los Angeles and San Jose, Latinos get arrested twice as often as whites, making for yet another “system-wide phenomenon.” That report is conveniently available in Spanish as well as English.

Despite the studies, it seems rather absurd that a renowned group that fights to improve the lives of minorities is working to decriminalize illegal behavior rather than combat it. After all, the U.S. government has long revealed that marijuana abuse negatively affects educational outcomes, job performance and family. It also creates a number of physical risks, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which says that more than half of the nation’s 7.1 million illicit drug addicts are dependent on marijuana.


 

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