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Blacks more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites in Louisiana: Racial profiling report

September 20, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Blacks more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites in Louisiana: Racial profiling report

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A new report on racial profiling published on Tuesday revealed that Black people are almost three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession charges than white people in the state of Louisiana.

The study released by the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center found that black people in the state are 2.9 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.

The difference in arrests rates occurred despite a 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that shows marijuana use between black and white people remained “at similar rates.”

The report based its findings on marijuana possession arrests on 2016 FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data, which includes statistics provided by U.S. law enforcement agencies to the Department of Justice, and Census Bureau population data.

The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program counts the most serious offense if someone is arrested on several charges, so the center’s analysis is based on people charged only with marijuana possession or when other offenses were considered less serious.

According to NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune, the Baton Rouge Police Department had the highest inequality in the report, with Black people being six times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession by the department than white people.

Additionally, the study concluded that African Americans in Louisiana were 4.3 times more likely to serve prison time for felony charges than white people.

Further highlighting the disparity is the fact that black people comprised roughly 31 percent of Louisiana’s adult population in 2016, but accounted for 54 percent of adults arrested and 68 percent of adults in prison.

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