I read an article today about racial profiling and marijuana arrests in Georgia. Minorities are the biggest victim of marijuana prohibition. Arrests rates for marijuana offenses for minorities is so unbalanced it’s mind blowing. Apparently, Georgia is one of the biggest offenders of this unjust byproduct of marijuana prohibition. Below are some excerpts from the Channel 2 article I referred to:
Last year, 93 percent of all marijuana possession arrests in the city of Atlanta were African-Americans, and 7 percent were white. The city’s population is 54 percent African-American and 38 percent white.
“That is profiling at its worst. You don’t have to have done anything, if they just suspect you might have done it as you look like someone who might do, than you are apt to be pulled over,” said Reverend C.L. White, president of the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP.
“That is just a bad practice of applying the law unequally, that is, you are singling out a segment of the population,” said state Sen. Ed Harbison. “That’s just wrong. I don’t care how you cover it up, how you try to color it.”
Georgia has some of the toughest marijuana laws in the country and a recent study conducted for the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation showed that the state spends $310 million to police, prosecute and jail marijuana offenders.
“You have to pay the police man. You have to pay the jailer, the probation officer, the judge, the district attorney, the assistants, the clerks, the court reporter. All of that is paid for by the state,” said David Clark of Georgia’s Chapter of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws.
“The costs go beyond just the law enforcement costs. You’re taking a working person who happens to like to smoke pot when they go home, and you’re taking them out of the workforce. They are no longer productive,” said Clark.