Black people and marijuana arrests

Black arrests in Colorado and Washington from 2008 to 2014

Another statistical analysis conducted by FBI’s the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice’s – Mike Males on states where recreational marijuana has been legalized. From 2008 to 2014, marijuana-related arrests from Colorado and Washington decreased 60% and 90% respectively. The conclusion of this report was that black people were “twice as likely to be arrested for marijuana…in both states” from

A Statistical Analysis of arrests by race in Washington DC

According to a fact-finding statistical analysis from the ACLU, they studied the District of Columbia to illustrate the disparity of whites versus blacks being arrested for marijuana-related offenses. It showed that black people were “8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession despite near equal usage rates in Black and white populations” from ACLU. Another fact that shows this racial disparity is in 2010, 91% of marijuana arrests were black people in DC, even though slightly half of the population is black. The ACLU also goes on to infer that the priority of arrests being made were in areas where predominantly African Americans reside.


What does this mean for black people and the “Green Rush”?

Having a black mark with legal enforcement will put anyone at a disadvantage when trying to be employed in the cannabis industry or starting a marijuana-related business. Most state laws require people who apply for licenses to not be convicted for a felony offense. The Same rule applies when you are seeking employment at a marijuana dispensary. The statistics seem to be weighed against black people when you look at the arrest numbers. It is time this great country stops incarcerating anyone for marijuana. Hopefully, as legalization happens in this country, we can see a huge decrease in incarcerated black Americans for marijuana-related crimes.

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