State police officers in Colorado and Washington are stopping and searching significantly fewer cars in the years since cannabis was legalized in the two Northwest states. Cops often use the smell (real or imagined) of cannabis as an excuse to search vehicles, but without weed being illegal, cops are increasingly backing off.
According to a study by researchers at Stanford University’s Open Policing Project, who poured over the data from over 60 million highway stops in 31 states between 2011 and 2015, vehicle stop and searches have resulted in 40% fewer drivers arrested for contraband in Colorado and Washington.
To supplement that data and create a more comprehensive picture in the shift in policing, Reveal from the Center of Investigative Reporting and the Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism website dedicated to criminal justice, joined forces to break down the racial divide in the post-prohibition policing and found that cops are still just as racially biased as they were before legalization.
The Stanford study looks only at state police statistics, not those of local, urban area (where most of America’s non-white populations reside) police forces. Even…