Arrests Of Black People Continue Despite Changes

Cannabis plant
William Anderson
October 13, 2020

The injustices of the law and its unequal application have been felt by Black people in many ways for many years, but nonviolent drug offenses stand out. 

Thousands of Black people are behind bars for these offenses, and despite reforms to cannabis laws, one thing hasn’t changed.

Black people STILL make up the majority of arrests! 

For example, Black people are nearly 100% of Washington D.C.’s arrests for cannabis despite being only 45% of the population. But it’s not just about D.C. There’s something EVERY state has in common.

Research reveals it doesn’t matter whether weed is legalized, decriminalized, or illegal, Black people are ALWAYS arrested for it more than white people! So in places like Colorado that have passed progressive legalization, racist law enforcement remains. 

This tells us something crucial.

Law enforcement is not just about the law, it’s about race. And reform is not removing racism when it comes to cannabis. When we think about challenging racism within the system that already exists, we have to always keep in mind the system is always racist!

Black people have the right to enjoy cannabis and be treated the same as anyone else would in states where it’s legalized. We should hope that legalization becomes the law of the land, but we also have to challenge a racist system that will punish us either way!

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