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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Report: Blacks Arrested Four Times As Often As Whites For Marijuana

Posted By on Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge And then he went on to become president of the United States
  • And then he went on to become president of the United States

ACLU Report Reveals SF As California's Most Racist County For Pot Busts

There's a black man in the Oval Office and there's marijuana smoke on every other corner in San Francisco. But don't worry: racism is alive and well, as is the drug war -- and San Francisco is the state's most-racist incarcerator for weed, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

In San Francisco, African Americans are over four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana crimes than Caucasians, according to a new report from the ACLU released Monday.

That's double the nationwide average -- 2.2 African- Americans are arrested for pot crimes for every white person that's arrested -- and is the highest racial disparity of any county in California.

Second place? Marin.

Do take time to peruse the entire report, "The War on Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests." The ACLU went through arrests rates in each 50 states, county-by-county, and found:

  • Marijuana arrests are increasing steadily since 2001;

  • Marijuana arrests account for 46 percent of all drug arrests;

  • Nationwide, an African-American person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for weed despite white people using marijuana at a similar rate.

"In over 96% of counties with more than 30,000 population in which at least 2% of the residents are Black, Blacks are arrested at higher rates than whites for marijuana possession," the report found.

In California, five counties had racially disparate arrest figures above that national average: San Francisco, Marin, Lake, Sacramento and Kern counties, according to the report. And San Francisco and Marin have the most racially disparate numbers, with 192 African-Americans arrested for weed for every 44 Caucasians in San Francisco, and 507 African-Americans arrested for every 123 Caucasians in Marin.

The numbers in San Francisco are staggering -- and all the more so when you consider that there aren't very many African-Americans left in San Francisco.

African-Americans constitute about 6.3 percent of the population in San Francisco, according to Census figures. Caucasians make up about 42 percent of San Francisco. So there are five times as many Caucasians than African-Americans in San Francisco -- yet there are four times as many black people arrested for weed than white people.

At least the cops no longer use those fire hoses and dogs on African-Americans.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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