New data from the ACLU shows a staggering racial disparity in cannabis arrests nationwide: In 2010, black Americans were four times more likely to be arrested on charges related to the plant than whites, even though rates at which each group smoked weed were similar.
“We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner,” said ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project director Ezekiel Edwards of the report”
In some states, like Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and D.C., the fault line was even wider–blacks were eight times as likely to be arrested for weed. And all that racism doesn’t come cheap. According to the ACLU’s numbers, states spent $3,613,969,972 enforcing cannabis laws in 2010, which as the New York Times points out, is a 30 percent increase over 2000.
See the full report here.