ACLU Report Finds Huge Racial Disparity in Arrests for Marijuana Possession

aclu-thewaronmarijuana-rel2-1A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union finds a huge racial disparity in arrests for marijuana possession, despite the fact that government statistics show that Blacks and Whites use marijuana at about the same rate. The impact of the large racial disparity in marijuana arrests can impact access to higher education for African Americans. Students with criminal records may have a more difficult time gaining admission to college or securing financing to pay for college.

The report finds that, on average, a Black person is 3.73 times more likely to be  arrested for marijuana possession than a white person. In states with the worst disparities, Blacks were, on average, over six times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. In Iowa, Blacks are more than eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than Whites.

Such racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests exist in all regions of the country, in counties large and small, urban and rural, wealthy and poor, and with large and small Black populations. In over 96 percent of counties with more than 30,000 people in which at least 2 percent of the residents are Black, Blacks are arrested at higher rates than whites for marijuana possession. In the worst offending counties across the country, Blacks were over 10, 15, even 30 times more likely to be arrested than white residents in the same county.

The ACLU report, The War on Marijuana: In Black and White, may be downloaded here.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs