Marijuana arrests more likely for blacks than whites in Iowa and Illinois

Marijuana use is about the same for whites and blacks, but a black person is 8.5 times more likely to be arrested for it in Iowa and 7.5 times more likely to be busted for it in Illinois.

That’s according to study results issued Tuesday, June 4, 2013 by the American Civil Liberties Union.  The group says the study was based on FBI data.

The study web page, called “The War on Marijuana In Black and White” says billions of dollars are wasted on what researchers called “racially biased arrests.”

The report says nationally, black people are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.  The disparity between marijuana arrest rates for black and white people was worst in Iowa, Washington D.C., Minnesota and Illinois.

The report supports a campaign to stop including arrests for marijuana possession in standards set for state and local police to get federal funding.   It says just over half of all drug arrests in 2010 were for marijuana, and that 88% of those arrests were for “simply having marijuana.”

The study website offers visitor an opportunity to send an automatic email to Attorney General Eric Holder, calling for an end to federal funding for low-level marijuana busts.

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