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 The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report Says 
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Modmin Dude
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Post The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report Says
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The War on Pot Is Both Insanely Racist and Insanely Expensive, New Report Says
Mike Riggs|Jun. 4, 2013 10:12 am

Across the United States--north, east, south, west--blacks are more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. That's the conclusion of a new ACLU report that compares arrest data from 945 counties across the country.

"In 2010, the Black arrest rate for marijuana possession was 716 per 100,000, while the white arrest rate was 192 per 100,000," the ACLU says. That national disparity is reflected (to varying degrees) at the local level, "regardless of whether Blacks make up 50% or 5% of a county’s overall population." Blacks were more likely than whites to be arrested for pot in 908 of the 945 counties for which the ACLU crunched data. And that disparity--as you can see in the chart at right--has actually gotten worse over the years.

It's no secret that in big cities like D.C. and New York blacks are arrested for pot far more often than whites, despite comparable usage rates. But the ACLU is the first group to extrapolate arrest numbers across the country. The picture it paints is depressing:
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In Lycoming and Lawrence, PA, and in Kenton County, KY, Blacks make up less than 5% of the population, but are between 10 and 11 times more likely than whites to be arrested. In Hennepin County, MN (includes Minneapolis), and Champaign and Jackson Counties, IL, Blacks are 12%, 13%, and 15% of the population, respectively, but are 9 times more likely to be arrested than whites. In Brooklyn, NY, and St. Louis City, MO, Blacks comprise 37% and 50% of the residents, respectively, and are 12 and 18 times more likely to be arrested than whites. In Chambers, AL, and St. Landry, LA, Blacks account for more than twice as many marijuana arrests (90% and 89%, respectively) than they do of the overallpopulation (39% and 42%, respectively). In Morgan and Pike Counties, AL, Blacks make up just over 12% and 37% of the population, respectively, but account for 100% of the marijuana possession arrests.

Yes, there's a county in the U.S. in which blacks make up 12 percent of the population and 100 percent of the marijuana arrests. The drug war is racist as hell. Just look at these charts:
Image
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The war on pot is also an insane misuse of resources:

    The ACLU estimates the total national expenditure of enforcing marijuana possession laws at approximately $3.613 billion. In 2010, states spent an estimated $1,747,157,206 policing marijuana possession arrests, $1,371,200,815 adjudicating marijuana possession cases, and $495,611,826 incarcerating individuals for marijuana possession.

    New York and California combined spent over $1 billion to enforce their marijuana laws in 2010. Add the amount of money that Texas, Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, Georgia, and Ohio spent, and the total is over $2 billion.

    Over half of the states (27) each spent over $30 million in 2010 enforcing marijuana possession laws.

    Even when discounting entirely all state fiscal spending on prison facilities, corrections expenditures associated with marijuana possession enforcement are significant — California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas, for example, each spent more than an estimated $20 million of state taxpayer money in 2010 housing individuals in local jail and county correctional facilities for possession of marijuana, with New York and California spending more than $65 million apiece.
The report also singles out the number of arrests for marijuana possession in relation to other drugs and drug crimes, which nets us this insane graph:
Image
The local focus on pot is being driven by federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (for which Pres. Obama has restored funding after a dip during the Bush years):
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JAG does not restrict the categories of arrests in its performance measures to felonies or serious drug cases. Rather, all drug arrests, including misdemeanors (such as for marijuana possession), must be reported tothe BJA as a condition of receiving federal funds.140 Because JAG does not limit the categories of arrests in its performance measures to felony arrests, or arrests for more serious drug offenses — as one would expect given the program’s original purpose of fighting serious, violent drug crime — police agencies are able to increase their productivity numbers by including arrests for mere possession, including marijuana possession. When submitting annual reports to the BJA, law enforcement agencies may improve the likelihood of receiving federal grants by measuring performance through the enforcement of low-level offenses, and thus perhaps demonstrating the “effectiveness” of BJA-funded activity. Thus, although JAG funding was initially designed to address major drug crime, by linking police budgets to drug law enforcement and including the number of drug arrests in states’ and law enforcement agencies’ productivity assessments, the Byrne Grant system enables — and, indeed, likely incentivizes — police departments to increase arrests for low-level drug possession.

The ACLU pulled its data from FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Data, the Census, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Bureau of Justice Statistics's Criminal Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts, and the Census Bureau’s Annual Government Finance Survey and Annual Survey of Public Employment. In some instances, ACLU researchers had to file freedom of information requests with state-level agencies. You can read the full report below. It contains some pretty crushing case studies of the collateral consequences of marijuana arrests.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/145657897/The ... -and-White

http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/04/the-w ... y-racist-a

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June 5th, 2013, 1:29 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
War on crack is no different. Should that be made legal too?


June 5th, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
Ignorance is bliss. It would be racist if they ignored it and said "it's only a black problem" also. Does it really matter how the numbers break down if regardless of race, it's illegal? If more blacks are arrested with it, maybe it's time to start looking at the reason the black community is using it and how to change that instead of hiding behind the race card. You're more likely to be arrested if you're caught with it, regardless of race. Lack of self control isn't a racial issue.


June 5th, 2013, 2:57 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
njroar wrote:
Ignorance is bliss. It would be racist if they ignored it and said "it's only a black problem" also. Does it really matter how the numbers break down if regardless of race, it's illegal? If more blacks are arrested with it, maybe it's time to start looking at the reason the black community is using it and how to change that instead of hiding behind the race card. You're more likely to be arrested if you're caught with it, regardless of race. Lack of self control isn't a racial issue.


I agree... And while "potheads" as I call them, would be quick to point out "ratios" of "users" or "smokers," what they're quick to leave out are ratios of drug dealers. Most tend to be black, and most are in crappy neighborhoods. The cops don't want to arrest the white guy looking for the joint, they're looking to arrest the black guy that's dealing a pound of dope a week, and likely selling other narcotics as well.


June 5th, 2013, 3:01 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
wjb21ndtown wrote:
War on crack is no different. Should that be made legal too?
In a word, Yes.
All drugs should be made legal IMO.

njroar wrote:
Ignorance is bliss.

As is evidenced by the responses in this thread.

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June 5th, 2013, 3:20 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
War on crack is no different. Should that be made legal too?
In a word, Yes.
All drugs should be made legal IMO.


When it comes to crack, herione, and other harsh drugs, IMO I think you're dead wrong. Self-destructive people would turn to them at a much higher degree, and a whole sect of our society would be lost. I know people that have done cocaine once and became instantly addicted to it, and literally lost everything. I had a friend that owned 5 rental houses free and clear, and lived in a "McMansion" in Chesterfield. His cars (multiple) and boat were paid for, he now has nothing, no car, no houses, no boat, nothing, and he's been in jail 4 times in the last three months.

There's no way anyone would ever convince me that it's a good idea to have that stuff on the streets.


June 5th, 2013, 3:28 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
wjb21ndtown wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
War on crack is no different. Should that be made legal too?
In a word, Yes.
All drugs should be made legal IMO.
When it comes to crack, herione, and other harsh drugs, IMO I think you're dead wrong. Self-destructive people would turn to them at a much higher degree, and a whole sect of our society would be lost. I know people that have done cocaine once and became instantly addicted to it, and literally lost everything. I had a friend that owned 5 rental houses free and clear, and lived in a "McMansion" in Chesterfield. His cars and boat was paid for, he now has nothing, and he's been in jail 4 times in the last three months.
First thing, sorry to hear about your friend, I sincerely hope they get the help they need and are able to turn their lives around. That said, you do realize there are similar stories that involve legal drugs too, right? IMO the issue isn't and shouldn't be about 'use' but about 'abuse'. Just because Oxycontin or Percocet or Vicodin are legal, doesn't mean they can't be abused, right? Same will booze. It's only when the use crosses into abuse that problems occur.

What about personal responsibility? I thought you were for smaller govt, personal freedoms, etc. Isn't one of the biggest complaints from Conservatives is that govt trying to control peeps too much? tell them how to live their lives? The drug war is yet another example of govt controlling us lowly citizens, telling us what we can and can't do. I suppose you also support Mayor Bloomberg's ban on large containers of pop....oh wait....

How about another aspect, how much tax money do you think a legitimate drug market could add to the economy?
wjb21ndtown wrote:
There's no way anyone would ever convince me that it's a good idea to have that stuff on the streets.
I'd be willing to bet the same was said about alcohol during prohibition. But I digress.
Part of the point is that its already on the streets and isn't going anywhere any time soon. So would you rather spend billions of tax payer money in the current system, or spend much less educating people on the possible effects of abuse?

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June 5th, 2013, 3:59 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
Tobacco is far and away the most harmful drug known to man.

As long as it's legal, it's just hypocritical to argue that other drugs shouldn't be.


June 5th, 2013, 4:03 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
War on crack is no different. Should that be made legal too?
In a word, Yes.
All drugs should be made legal IMO.
When it comes to crack, herione, and other harsh drugs, IMO I think you're dead wrong. Self-destructive people would turn to them at a much higher degree, and a whole sect of our society would be lost. I know people that have done cocaine once and became instantly addicted to it, and literally lost everything. I had a friend that owned 5 rental houses free and clear, and lived in a "McMansion" in Chesterfield. His cars and boat was paid for, he now has nothing, and he's been in jail 4 times in the last three months.
First thing, sorry to hear about your friend, I sincerely hope they get the help they need and are able to turn their lives around. That said, you do realize there are similar stories that involve legal drugs too, right? IMO the issue isn't and shouldn't be about 'use' but about 'abuse'. Just because Oxycontin or Percocet or Vicodin are legal, doesn't mean they can't be abused, right? Same will booze. It's only when the use crosses into abuse that problems occur.

What about personal responsibility? I thought you were for smaller govt, personal freedoms, etc. Isn't one of the biggest complaints from Conservatives is that govt trying to control peeps too much? tell them how to live their lives? The drug war is yet another example of govt controlling us lowly citizens, telling us what we can and can't do. I suppose you also support Mayor Bloomberg's ban on large containers of pop....oh wait....

How about another aspect, how much tax money do you think a legitimate drug market could add to the economy?
wjb21ndtown wrote:
There's no way anyone would ever convince me that it's a good idea to have that stuff on the streets.
I'd be willing to bet the same was said about alcohol during prohibition. But I digress.
Part of the point is that its already on the streets and isn't going anywhere any time soon. So would you rather spend billions of tax payer money in the current system, or spend much less educating people on the possible effects of abuse?


1) I've never heard of someone drinking one beer or taking one viccoden and becoming addicted.

2) The addiction isn't as strong. People, otherwise straight males, literally turn to giving blow jobs for the stuff. I've never heard of that with alcohol. They turn into hard core criminals feeding their drug habbit. And it's not because it's "expensive" and "hard to get"... You can get a crack rock for $5

3) I don't think the drug market could bring in enough to off-set the healthcare/addiction treatment costs. IMO it's a losing battle and we're fighting it the right way. I can take you down to certain neighborhoods of Detroit if you'd like, and you can see literally hundreds of people walking around like zombies. They steal stuff, beg for money all day, and literally, like ants, stagger upto the crackhouse and buy a couple of rocks, and staggar out. It's sad, really sad.


June 5th, 2013, 4:06 pm
Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
Blueskies wrote:
Tobacco is far and away the most harmful drug known to man.

As long as it's legal, it's just hypocritical to argue that other drugs shouldn't be.



Bullsh!t... Maybe collectively, but not to the individual. It takes 20 years to die from a cigarette, you can OD on cocaine your first use.


June 5th, 2013, 4:06 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
Yes, I'm talking collectively. It kills more people and costs society far more money than any other drug out there.

And on an individual basis, while it may take decades to kill you, it's as addictive as heroin.

Ultimately, it comes down to philosophical beliefs. I think people have the right to destroy themselves and their lives if they want to. Granted, there's always collateral damage, but the drug war brings just as much if not more.

These drugs are not that hard to get. And so I do not believe for a second that their legalization would lead to any meaningful amount of additional usage.

Overall, I can see the reasons for keeping the truly harmful drugs illegal. I disagree, but I can see the logic. But I cannot see the logic behind pot prohbition.


June 5th, 2013, 4:12 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
First off, noticed how you just skipped the questions I posed to you, nice....
wjb21ndtown wrote:
1) I've never heard of someone drinking one beer or taking one viccoden and becoming addicted.

2) The addiction isn't as strong. People, otherwise straight males, literally turn to giving blow jobs for the stuff. I've never heard of that with alcohol. They turn into hard core criminals feeding their drug habbit. And it's not because it's "expensive" and "hard to get"... You can get a crack rock for $5

3) I don't think the drug market could bring in enough to off-set the healthcare/addiction treatment costs. IMO it's a losing battle and we're fighting it the right way. I can take you down to certain neighborhoods of Detroit if you'd like, and you can see literally hundreds of people walking around like zombies. They steal stuff, beg for money all day, and literally, like ants, stagger upto the crackhouse and buy a couple of rocks, and staggar out. It's sad, really sad.
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Blueskies wrote:
Tobacco is far and away the most harmful drug known to man.

As long as it's legal, it's just hypocritical to argue that other drugs shouldn't be.
Bullsh!t... Maybe collectively, but not to the individual. It takes 20 years to die from a cigarette, you can OD on cocaine your first use.
I believe what you're trying to get at is the strength of the drug. Just like booze & tobacco, it would be regulated to certain strength or 'proof' if you will. It would also be more 'pure' in that it wouldn't be mixed with household cleansers, as crack is. As I said before, education is the key.
Blueskies wrote:
Ultimately, it comes down to philosophical beliefs. I think people have the right to destroy themselves and their lives if they want to.
Agreed. It seems as tho some peeps need the govt to stop them from hurting themselves. To paraphrase a popular gun control talking point, drugs don't kill people, people abusing / overusing drugs kills people.

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June 5th, 2013, 4:25 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
As for the tax revenue aspect, here is what the US receives in alcohol revenue:
Image

If I'm reading that correctly, the in 2010 the US received over $6 Billion in revenue from alcohol. Granted it wouldn't be a 1:1 correlation for legalized drugs, but one would think its a good starting point for the discussion. Now, combine that with the savings of not having the drug war and we're looking a large chunk of moola.

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June 5th, 2013, 4:28 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
If you think $6 billion would pay for all of the medical/drug/addiction treatment, you're fooling yourself, and I think the revenue would be much, much lower than alcohol.

Cigarettes are not as addictive as herione. That is a myth. You don't smoke one cigarette and become a "smoker for life." Many people have smoked one cigarette. Hell, I've smoked five cigarettes my whole life, over the period of 20 years, and three were just for the hell of it (as a joke)... Two of those were part of a Halloween costume.

Your body has a natural "liking" to herione. Your body naturally rejects cigarettes. It takes people fighting through a dislike of cigarettes to start liking them, that isn't true with harder drugs.

You can talk about "regulating the 'proof'" or strength of the harsher drugs, but once hooked on them people will once again turn to illegal forms to get their fix if the strongest stuff isn't available.


June 5th, 2013, 4:44 pm
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Post Re: The War on Pot Is Both Racist and Expensive, New Report
wjb21ndtown wrote:
If you think $6 billion would pay for all of the medical/drug/addiction treatment, you're fooling yourself, and I think the revenue would be much, much lower than alcohol.
Don't forget to add the savings from not running the drug war which could be upwards of an additional $25-30 Billion (perhaps even more). Not too mention we're already paying for the medical/drug/addiction treatment in the current system.

The US has already spent over $1 on the drug war since Nixon started it, how's that been working out so far?

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June 5th, 2013, 5:29 pm
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