Racial Disparity In Marijuana Arrest Rates Increasing, Finds New Study

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

African Americans in Virginia are arrested for marijuana possession at more than three times the rates of whites, and this disparity is rising.

This is according to an analysis of statewide arrest data by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Capital News Service. Researchers reviewed 160,000 state and local arrest records from the years 2010 through 2016. They found that blacks were 2.9 times as likely as whites to be arrested for possessing marijuana in 2010, but 3.2 times as likely to be arrested by 2016.

In some counties and towns, such as in Hanover County and in Arlington, Virginia, the black arrest rate was six to eight times that of whites.

Read moreRacial Disparity In Marijuana Arrest Rates Increasing, Finds New Study

Hispanics Less than 20% of U.S. Population, Received 77% of Federal Marijuana Sentences in 2016

Hispanics received 77% of the federal marijuana sentences in 2016, despite making up less than 20% of the overall U.S. population.

This is according to a new report released by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The report found that whites made up less than 20% of the federal marijuana sentences given last year, despite making up over 75% of the population, and despite using marijuana at roughly the same rate as Hispanics.

In total there were 3,528 federal marijuana sentences in fiscal-year 2016, with the average sentence being 28 months.

Below is a chart on the racial disparity courtesy of U.S. News:

Read moreHispanics Less than 20% of U.S. Population, Received 77% of Federal Marijuana Sentences in 2016