Lead photo via Flickr user Chris
As legal weed spreads across the country like, well, a weed, it can sometimes feel like America’s war on drugs is fading. With pot shops across California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and more, it would seem like cops have more pressing problems to go toe-to-toe with, right? Sadly, American law enforcement techniques don’t follow logic or reason, and a new report from the Pennsylvania branch of the ACLU highlights exactly why the fight for cannabis reform is still necessary: black Pennsylvanians are eight times as likely to be arrested for cannabis crimes than their white peers, despite equal rates of use across racial lines.
According to a local Pennsylvania NBC affiliate, even in Philadelphia, the state’s largest city, where simple marijuana possession has been decriminalized since 2014, black residents are still at least three times as likely to be arrested for a cannabis crime than white residents, with more than 70% of those arrests targeting young adults aged 18-30.
“Racial disparities have actually gotten worse” across the state, Andrew Hoover, spokesman for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said. “These arrests create major…