Report: Despite Decade of Pot Legalization, Black Coloradans Still Arrested More Than Whites

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According to a 180-page analysis published this week by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, although the total number of arrests for adults and juveniles for pot-related crimes has gone down overall since Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012, wide racial disparities persist, especially among Black Coloradans, who are arrested at twice the rate of whites for pot-related charges, reports Colorado Newsline.

According to the report, the total number of marijuana arrests decreased by 68 percent between 2012 and 2019, from 13,225 to 4,290. The number of marijuana arrests decreased by 72 percent for white people, 63 percent for Black people and 55 percent for Hispanic people. The analysis found that the marijuana arrest rate for Black people (160 per 100,000) was more than double that of white people (76 per 100,000) in 2019 and that the disparity has not changed in any meaningful way since marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2012. Similar disparities persist for juveniles arrested for marijuana-related issues, where white juveniles arrests decreased by 47 percent from 2012 to 2019, compared to 41 percent for Black juveniles and 26 percent for Hispanic juveniles. The majority of marijuana arrests are for possession.

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