I read this article by Tom Jackman in the Washington Post about the new study, Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests in Virginia (2003-2013), and was utterly appalled at the key findings.
While the trend in much of the United States is moving toward decriminalization or legalization of marijuana, Virginia is heading in the opposite direction: With sharply rising arrest totals for the possession of pot and a disproportionate number of black people arrested in the Commonwealth, according to a new study based on state data reported to the FBI.Looking at the study itself, the results only get more appalling, particularly in certain Virginia jurisdictions. A few key points that jumped out at me include:
Although marijuana arrests dropped 6.5 percent nationwide between 2003 and 2014, possession arrests in Virginia increased by 76 percent during that period, according to research by the Drug Policy Alliance in New York. And arrests of black people in Virginia for marijuana increased by 106 percent from 2003 to 2013, accounting for 47 percent of the state’s arrests even though Virginia’s population is only 20 percent black.