data, law, racism

Racism (20): Racial Discrimination in Marijuana Arrests

Marijuana use by black residents of Washington DC is only slightly higher than among white residents. Given that blacks are slightly more numerous in DC than whites, we should – if criminal justice were fair – also see only slightly more blacks arrested for marijuana use. Surprise, surprise: that’s not the case. In 2007, 91 percent of those arrested for marijuana were black. Adjusting for population, African-Americans are eight times more likely to be arrested.

racial discrimination in marijuana arrests

(source, source, the drawing makes it look like blacks are more than 11 times more likely to get arrested – 8*11=91 – but that doesn’t take into account the fact that blacks are slightly more numerous in DC – hence the correct number is 8 times)

A similar pattern for Chicago (where whites are more numerous than blacks):

marijuana arrest rates by race, chicago

marijuana arrest rates by race, Chicago

(source, click image to enlarge)

And this is the case for many if not all types of crimes. The racial distribution of inmates in U.S. prisons is highly negative for black Americans. Whereas they only make up 12% of the total U.S. population, they represent more than 40% of all inmates. It’s obvious from the case of cannabis that this difference isn’t due to a higher level of involvement in crime. I wonder, could racial profiling perhaps explain something? Actually, I don’t wonder…

Standard

6 thoughts on “Racism (20): Racial Discrimination in Marijuana Arrests

  1. Pingback: The Most Absurd Human Rights Violations (86): “We Inflict an Injustice Upon You, and Then We Make You Pay For It” | P.a.p.-Blog | Human Rights Etc.

  2. Pingback: Human Rights Facts (244): Implicit Racism in Criminal Justice, Ctd. | P.a.p.-Blog | Human Rights Etc.

  3. Pingback: Measuring Human Rights (24): Measuring Racism, Ctd. | P.a.p.-Blog | Human Rights Etc.

  4. Pingback: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics (38): The Base-Rate Fallacy | P.a.p.-Blog, Human Rights Etc.

  5. pepito de la verga says:

    esto solo demuestra lo racista que es la policía en chicago..
    This just shows how racist that the police in Chicago

  6. Pingback: Racism (26): Racism in Criminal Justice | P.a.p.-Blog, Human Rights Etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s