Between 2001 and 2010, there were more than 8 million pot arrests (88% for possession). And during that time, a Black person was 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person. Since then, in states that have legalized cannabis, arrests, as you’d expect, have gone done. Unfortunately, legalization hasn’t done anything to change the racial disparities.
Take a look at Alaska, Colorado, and Washington, DC, all of which have legalized pot. In Alaska, Black people are still being arrested 10 times more often than whites. In DC, they’re arrested 4 times more. In Colorado? Three times.
Let’s be clear: even with increased legalization, hundreds of thousands of people are still being arrested for pot. And most of those people are Black. Black New York City residents, for example, are 8 times more likely to be arrested for pot than whites.
It’s High Time to Make a Change
We’re calling on Congress to expunge prior marijuana convictions and provide pardons/amnesty to anyone whose only crime was possession of cannabis. Cities like San Francisco and Seattle are already doing it. It’s time to take this national.
We also love the approach taken by some big-city prosecutors: they’ve declared that they will no longer be prosecuting pot-possession cases. In some cities they’re even wiping old warrants and convictions from the books.
Want to feel really really good this 4/20? Then let’s make sure that legalization benefits all of us. That’ll turn 4/20 into a day that we all can celebrate.
Large corporations fighting the good fight for justice for all in our great country. #benandjerrys has always been a powerful voice on our most pressing issues. This one is about prison reform. We are so proud of them and will continue to support them.
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