Massachusetts Cannabis Arrests Dropped Significantly in 2016, but Racist Policing Practices Persist – News

While the West Coast has fully embraced cannabis reform and a move towards recreational legalization, America’s East Coast has been more reluctant, with zero recreational pot shops currently operating east of the Mississippi. Prohibition is ending quickly, though, and a number of eastern seaboard states are starting to step up, with Massachusetts leading the way in both legislative action and the reform of everyday pot policing. Legal weed sales in the Bay State are set to start next year, and Mass. cops have already cut marijuana arrests to a fraction of their past year totals, but despite the positive trend, racist policing still persists, with the state’s black residents four times as likely to face a cannabis charge as their white peers.

According to the Boston Globe, a new amalgamation of data from almost all of Massachusetts’ individual municipalities and state law enforcement agencies collected by the FBI shows only 308 arrests for marijuana possession across the state in 2016. This figure is down exactly 50% from 2014’s 616 arrests, and over 95% from the 8,695 possession charges levied in 2008, the last year before the state passed cannabis…

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