Monday, January 6, 2014

Splendor In The Grass

According to a report by the ACLU, blacks are almost four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite the fact that marijuana use among blacks and whites is about the same.

This is especially harrowing, given the consequences of being convicted of felony marijuana possession can be far more dire than the sentence itself (as Michelle Alexander notes in her book, The New Jim Crow). Former offenders can find themselves deprived of professional or driver’s licenses, educational aid, food stamps, public housing, their right to vote, and they may find themselves fired and unable to find new employment, having been marked by society as little more than a criminal. For blacks caught up in the system it can compound the already considerable effects of ongoing racial discrimination.

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