Blacks in Minnesota 8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites, study says

mnsignmarijuana.jpg
Image by Tatiana Craine
The study indicates Minnesota is not so welcoming for blacks who smoke weed.
Whatever the reason, Minnesota cops are far more likely to arrest blacks for pot possession than whites, according to a new study by the ACLU.

SEE ALSO: Mark Hamburger's MLB career derailed by pot; he now lives in parents' Shoreview basement

According to the study, blacks were nearly eight times as likely to be arrested for pot in 2010, the last year for which numbers are available. In Ramsey County, blacks were 9.1 times more likely to be arrested.

From a summary of the study:
The findings show that while there were pronounced racial disparities in marijuana arrests 10 years ago, they have grown significantly worse...

In Minnesota, the counties with the largest racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests were Hennepin, Ramsey, and Dakota. Statewide, police officers made 7,494 arrests for marijuana possession in 2010, and marijuana possession rates accounted for 42.8 percent of all drug arrests in 2010. From 2001-2010, overall marijuana possession arrest rates fell -0.5% and the racial disparities among such arrests increased 231%.

Despite the fact that a majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization, Minnesota spent as much as 69 million dollars enforcing marijuana laws in 2010. Nationally, states spent a combined $3.61 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010 alone.
Nationally, the study found that blacks are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite comparable usage rates with whites. In 2010, there was a marijuana arrest every 30 seconds in America.

"The War on Marijuana has disproportionately been a war on people of color," Ezekiel Edwards, Director of the Criminal Law Reform Project at the ACLU and one of the primary authors of the report, said in a release. "State and local governments have aggressively enforced marijuana laws selectively against black people and communities, needlessly ensnaring hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system at tremendous human and financial cost."

The ACLU supports the full decriminalization of pot. Last month, a bill to legalize medical marijuana was introduced with support from both sides of the aisle in the legislature. The bill didn't go anywhere before the session came to a close, but supporters have promised to vigorously push it next year.

It's unclear, however, whether Governor Dayton would sign. When asked about medical pot last winter, Dayton said, "I don't think we need another drug operating in our society."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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42 comments
Sekemet1
Sekemet1

I think it just boils down to what people feel they have the right to do freely and young blacks are definitely being pushed more toward tobacco use instead of marijuana use. Marijuana is probably found in larger amounts among whites not that they are the only ones smoking out of bongs. Why the hell should a cop have to tell me to smoke at home and still spy on me with a helicopter camera or whatever they choose when it is a natural plant. Legalize Marijuana, don't tell me what to do, I'll blaze it in your face.

risensoulfalling
risensoulfalling

I have been told by police officers to just smoke at home not in public as more evidence of the difference in culture.

risensoulfalling
risensoulfalling

Blacks in the Atlanta area smoke in their cars and public which attracts unwanted attention from law enforcement. Whites tend to smoke indoors out of the view of the public. Evidence of this is the use of blunts to smoke for blacks and bongs and pipes for whites. One method is good for mobile smoking the other is better for in the house.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

This will be the next big battle in our country.  The people want Marijuana to be legal.  It would lower crime, taxes, and drug abuse.   Minnesota should be one of the first states to legalize, we would get a boost from tourism and supplying other states where pot is still illegal.  

sheeee-it
sheeee-it

They are also 8 times more likely to smoke a joint at my bus stop. 

Elisa Maria
Elisa Maria

last i heard possession under an ounce was decriminalized. stash confiscated, ticket given... no jail time.

Todd Hurst
Todd Hurst

Focus more on what matters and leave God's plants alone

qtremen207
qtremen207

cusing on "marijuana arrests in Minnesota," try researching racial disparities in nationwide incarceration rates. What you'll find is a nationwide war on the poor and on minorities, of which the battle over marijuana is simply one of m

Damian Amberg
Damian Amberg

Did anyone ever think that maybe they were doing something ELSE wrong at the time, calling attention to themselves and then being arrested for pot? Stories like this are getting ridiculous.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

really boring stuff here - time to get faded

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

This is true both nationwide and here in Minnesota. The 'War on Drugs' is really just a war on the poor, within which economic class minorities are overrepresented due to our history of economic oppression of minorities. Rather than focusing on "marijuana arrests in Minnesota," try researching racial disparities in nationwide incarceration rates. What you'll find is a nationwide war on the poor and on minorities, of which the battle over marijuana is simply one of many battles. Add to this war the for-profit private prison industry, and you have an industry which harvests people and produces felons for profit.

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

t's unclear, however, whether Governor Dayton would sign. When asked about medical pot last winter, Dayton said,"I don't think we need another drug operating in our society. News flash Dayton....weed has been operating in society since the dawn of man.

Noah Hanson
Noah Hanson

"Cops, cops, come and try to snatch my crops". Still true decades later, once again proving a two party system is fatally flawed.

Tim Cheesebrow
Tim Cheesebrow

What a waste of manpower. Here's how we restore equality here...stop arresting people for it. Other countries have decriminalized drugs and the use/abuse of drugs in those countries actually went down. The war on drugs is a waste of our resources.

kennyX
kennyX

@Matt Mollergren I just looked at your Facebook page. If you are the future of America, we are all doomed. Don't you have something to Occupy? It's only 8:25 pm.

kennyX
kennyX

@sheeee-it I'm going to venture a guess that you ride either the 5, 10, 16, 19, 22, or the 21. 

marevitals
marevitals

"calling attention to themselves" you are a minority and we can easily stop you because profiling isn't illegal here in Minnersnowta - wrong place wrong time? Nahhhhhh it's all about segregating the welfare dependents from rich white folk and slowly but surely incarcerating them to satisfy quotas for private prisons - the bigots in Minnesota support this repression because it satisfies their bigot clear channel listening pea brains.  "Derrr dem blacks are welfare queens, fucking lazy ass pieces of shit" - when all the while Washington is looting the pensions and savings of the middle class.......comments like yours ARE ridiculous.

andreatte
andreatte

@Bob Alberti I would agree to some extent; common sense says to me if you are poor, maybe you shouldn't be getting high with what money you do have.  But common sense isn't allowed in here...

kennyX
kennyX

@Bob Alberti And exactly who is "oppressing" the economic opportunities for minorities? Have you been down Lake St. or Central Ave. lately? 90% of these businesses are minority owned. And they built their businesses the old fashioned American way: hard work, risk, and generally busting their assess off. The difference? All of these businesses are owned by Latinos, Middle Easterners, Somalis, and Asians. If these people can obtain economic opportunity (as minorities), why cant the African Americans? I'll tell you why. It is because of people like you (white guilt liberals) who have brainwashed the African American community into believing  that they can't get a "piece of the pie" because of "Whitey". 

YOU are the problem, not the solution.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@kennyX you know, you are not even clever. your trolls are stupid and you look fat

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@digitalprotocol That's what I mean, its the next natural progression in our society.  The war on drugs has failed.  Adults have the right to smoke a harmless plant.   People's lives are being ruined because small minded fools won't change their minds.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@kennyX funny that your loser ass knows all the bus lines

you must be some poor fat shitbird

kennyX
kennyX

@marevitals  LOOK MOM!!  AN APOLOGIST!!

Dude, you seriously need to quit listening to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

marevitals
marevitals

you should be a preacher for the inner city, just go down to Lake Street and tell everyone about the opportunities!!!!!!!!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@kennyX that would be fun if i could just hang on the street all day smoking blunts but alas i must surf the web and identify fake ass losers

BTW i am a top commenter , you not shit

kennyX
kennyX

@digitalprotocol Says the person who is high 24 fucking hours a day. Don't you have a street corner to Occupy or something?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann ya except the federal government will never legalize weed. it wont happen.

just continue to flout the law and tell police to go fuk themselves. 

also when piping up at a concert or public event and some dumb security tries to disrupt your session, look the jerk in the face and say "what you don't smoke weed, go fuk urself"

these losers have shit jobs so you know they abuse some chemical

marevitals
marevitals

You sir are a moron, what facts did I even present other than responding to your inaccurate post about who I choose to view when I watch television (which is almost never unless CSPAN or PBS Bill Moyers)? I gave an opinion on "rich white folk", so sorry to spread such lies about tax bases moving out of town.  I could debate you for hours but in the end you'll just revert to some cliched clear channel parrotted bullshit that will most likely sound something like this "your brainwashed liberal mind" blah blah blah, same old story with fellas like you, so happy your generation will slowly die and hopefully we can change the course of this country.  Perhaps we should consider organ harvesting of baby boomers, because quite honestly we cannot afford to pay for all you once you get on medicare - maybe we could balance the budget this way? By the way I'm a Social Libertarian...also do me a favorite look up the definition of LIBERAL, it will contrast to what your boy beck and limbaugh shove down your bigotted throat daily.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@kennyX is he a liberal for going agaisnt the GOP? is he a liberal for thinking freely?

It would seem to me that you are caught up in the usual partisan faggotry that is rotting america.

nobody gives a fuck about your ideas on class or race. 

i am Apolitical and think you and your thoughts are tired, boring and trite. its clear you know little more than how to flame...

you are fucking whitey, you cause strife, and you will die some day

kennyX
kennyX

@marevitals Typical liberal response. Insults with no facts to back up your claim. Yep, it's all the "rich white folks" fault that blacks are 800 times more likely to commit violent crimes than white people, that the "rich white folk"" force welfare dependents to have countless babies that they can't afford to take care of in the first place, that the police are bribed by the "rich white folk" to profile black people and arrest them for smoking weed (btw, you don't go to prison for getting caught with a little bit of weed, so there goes your private prison argument), and well, just basically, yeah.....it's all the "rich white folks" fault.

You are a perfect example of why the Liberal thought process is a mental disorder. 

But I actually admire the Liberal politicians who brainwash people like you into this way of thinking. Because it is far easier to convince the sheeple that when you make bad decisions in life, it is much easier to blame someone else than to take personal responsibility. "Vote for me, and I will send you a Government check and it will all feel better!". 

marevitals
marevitals

kennyX the gift that keeps on giving......Al Sharpton is a MSNBC BOT and Jesse Jackson is a self aggrandizing "leader".....quite typical of you Kennyx, below the bar on intelligence when you revert to Mainstream Media beltway hacks, goes to show how much cable news has rotted your walnut sized brain.  Enjoy your life of misery kennyX! We all envy you!

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