Blacks Arrested for Pot More Than Anyone, What Can Be Done About It?

Last week, reported on the disproportionate number of cannabis possession arrests of Black people in Toronto. Data from a ten-year period, released by the Toronto Star, showed that people of color were three times more likely to be arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The findings led to a public meeting between the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition and the Toronto Police Services Board, where deputations were heard regarding the fact-based discrimination allegations.

During the meeting, former Toronto Mayor John Sewell suggested the police should not be allowed to lay charges on any individual without consulting a Crown attorney first. This practice is conducted in three other Canadian provinces, resulting in a 20-percent annual reduction in the number of charges laid. caught up with Shawn Richard, president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) to discuss other ways this behavior can be dealt with.

“I’m not an expert on statistics, however, I can tell you that the [arrest] numbers appear consistent with the Cole Gittens Report on systemic discrimination,” said Richard. “The report didn’t speak…

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