A recent study of police data was carried out, and it found that Latinos and African Americans are arrested more often than any other race when it comes to marijuana charges. Those two groups, when combined, represent a full 90 percent of all arrests.
Other studies have shown that drug use is not more common with these groups; white individuals allegedly use drugs just as often. It simply seems that those in the minority end up being arrested for it far more frequently. This disproportionate data has raised some eyebrows in Philadelphia, where the data was collected.
The man who did the study said that he was hooked on the idea when he went to a diversionary program meeting. The city has the program so that people can meet certain requirements and then have their drug charges dismissed. This is used when the charge is simply possession of a small amount of the drug.
While this program is designed to help people by keeping minor offenders out of jail, the man said he was surprised to see how many African Americans were in the room, saying they far outnumbered whites. That’s when he decided to look into the arrest numbers and discovered the trends noted above.
The man looked at data dating all the way back to 2011. He said that the same general trends could be found every single year, even though the overall numbers obviously would change from one year to the next.
This is important information to note, as police are not supposed to target people based on race. When this does happen, though, those who are arrested need to know what rights they have.
Source: Newsworks, “Philly blacks, Latinos disproportionately arrested on marijuana charges,” Bobby Allyn, March 25, 2016