And while studies show that marijuana use is equally prevalent among Blacks and Whites, 84 percent of more than 900 people arrested for public consumption in the nation’s capital were African American in the four years after legalization.
At a time when police treatment of African Americans is a focus of broad concern, the analysis echoes national studies that have shown the persistence of racial disparities as enforcement has declined in states where marijuana has been legalized.
A D.C. police spokeswoman declined to comment on the disparity, noting that arrests for consumption or possession of small amounts of marijuana have declined significantly since legalization.
But advocates and defense attorneys said police still focus on the city’s poorer, mostly Black neighborhoods because that’s where officer deployments and investigations of violent crime are concentrated. [Read more at The Washington Post]