Stark Racial Disparities and Disturbing Development in Washington D.C. Marijuana Arrests Regardless of Legalization

Whereas Possession Arrests Stay Low, Alarming Development in Marijuana Distribution Arrests and Public Consumption Prices

Just lately launched information from the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Division exhibits that racial disparities in arrests for marijuana stay excessive, regardless of marijuana turning into authorized for grownup use in 2015. In 2017, 86% of arrestees have been Black, even though Black residents make up solely round 47% of the District’s inhabitants. 

Although arrests for possession stay low, arrests for distribution and public consumption have elevated considerably. MPD greater than quadrupled arrests for distribution (75 to 403) and greater than tripled arrests for public consumption (85 to 265) from 2015 to 2017. Racial disparities are disturbingly excessive for each costs, 2017 information exhibits 92% (369 of 403) of arrestees for distribution have been Black, and 75% (200 of 265) of arrestees for public consumption have been Black. 

Under is an announcement from Kaitlyn Boecker, Coverage Supervisor of the Drug Coverage Alliance

“Because of Congressional interference prohibiting the District from regulating marijuana, fairly than gathering tax income and making certain product security, we’re losing sources and wreaking havoc on younger individuals’s lives with continued arrests for marijuana use.

The conflict on medication has all the time been a conflict on individuals, significantly on individuals of shade. Initiative 71 was handed by voters largely to get rid of racial disparities in marijuana arrests, however as a consequence of racial bias and uneven enforcement, 4 years later Black males proceed to be overwhelmingly focused for arrests. The overwhelming majority of District voters rejected marijuana prohibition and its legacy of biased enforcement by voting to legalize grownup use, possession and cultivation of marijuana. Regardless of this, MPD continues to arrest our residents for marijuana, quadrupling arrests for distribution and tripling arrests for public consumption from 2015 to 2017.  That is unacceptable, marijuana arrests don’t advance public well being or security, and violate the desire of the voters. 

We all know the general public well being penalties of an arrest far outweigh the general public well being penalties of marijuana use. Even the NYPD has lately introduced a shift to their coverage on public marijuana use, particularly due to the problem of racial disparities in enforcement. It’s absurd that regardless of legalization within the District, MPD continues to make such arrests; as former MPD Chief Cathy Lanier mentioned years in the past, ‘All these arrests do is make individuals hate us.’ ”

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