Report: Pot Arrests in Colorado Drop for Whites But Skyrocket Among Blacks Since Legalization
Article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.
Denver, CO — A New report by the Colorado Department of Public Safety found that since the legalization of marijuana in their state, blacks and Latinos have found themselves being targeted with extreme prejudice.
As arrests for blacks and Latinos soar for marijuana, persecution of their white counterparts has dropped.
According to the report, between 2012 and 2014 arrests of black adolescents between 10 and 17 years old increased by 58%, while Latino adolescents arrests were up by 29%.
During the same period, arrests of white teens declined by 8%.
Since legalization, Colorado schools have seen a 34% increase in the number of marijuana arrests, most of which are for possession. However, in spite of relatively similar usage among races, “The drug suspension rates are lowest in schools with a smaller proportion of minorities … Schools with the highest proportion of minorities have a drug suspension rate 110% higher than schools with the lowest proportion of minorities,” reports the study.
According to the report, it’s not just minority teens seeing a spike in persecution for possessing a plant; it’s their parents too. In spite of marijuana arrests plummetting after legalization, racial disparities grew among those still being arrested.
In 2014, black adults were arrested and cited for marijuana-related offenses at almost triple the rate of white people. Back in 2012, black people in Colorado were being arrested for pot crimes at a little less than double the rate of whites, reports Buzzfeed.
Even as the war on cannabis is crumbling due to its immoral nature, we are still seeing the racist intentions behind its beginning.
As the Free Thought Project has reported in the past, the outlawing of cannabis was based in racism.
John Daniel Ehrlichman was counsel and domestic policy chief to President Richard Nixon. He was a key figure in events leading to the Watergate first break-in and the ensuing Watergate scandal, for which he was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and served a year and a half in prison.
Aside from the conspiracy of Watergate, which when compared to today’s politicians seems like schoolyard pranks, Ehrlichman, while serving under Nixon, was part of a much larger, and far more detrimental conspiracy that is still playing out today — the war on drugs.
In a March report, in Harper’s Magazine, written by Dan Baum, Ehrlichman came clean on the real reason behind the war on drugs — to criminalize blacks and hippies.
According to Baum, he tracked down Ehrlichman in 1994 at his engineering firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
“You want to know what this was really all about?” Ehrlichman bluntly asked Baum of the war on drugs. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
As former Congressman Ron Paul pointed out prior to the revelation admitted by Ehrlichman and the recent Colorado report;
[Black peope] are tried and imprisoned disproportionately. They suffer the consequence of the death penalty disproportionately. Rich white people don’t get the death penalty very often. And most of these are victimless crimes. Sometimes people can use drugs and get arrested three times and never committed a violent act and they can go to prison for life. I think there’s discrimination in the system, but you have to address the drug war. I would say the judicial system is probably one of the worst places where prejudice and discrimination still exists in this country.
It’s not just Colorado either, other states who’ve decriminalized or legalized cannabis have seen similar racial disparities among those still targeted by police for pot.
It seems that law enforcement in America has a severe drug addiction. Sadly, even after the plant is legalized, cops cannot ween themselves from the conditioning they’ve been given which is proven to be based in racism, immoral, and entirely unsuccessful at preventing drug use.