Today, I urge you to recognize and reckon with the racist implications of existing marijuana criminalization within the United States. The recently passed House Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act identifies the specific harms inflicted on communities of color by marijuana policing. The Senate must also call attention to these harms and ensure they guide future policy reforms around marijuana.
According to the most recent FBI UCR, there were an estimated 350,150 arrests for marijuana-related violations in 2020 alone. That is an average of one American being placed in handcuffs every 90 seconds.
From data analyzed by the ACLU, the racial disparity in those arrests amounts to Black Americans being 3.6 times more likely to be arrested than their white counterparts, despite similar consumption rates amongst racial crosstabs.
At a time when a supermajority of Americans support legalization, including majorities of voters of all political parties, now is the time to recognize the harm caused by current marijuana criminalization on the Black community and make an affirmative commitment to a justice-centered path forward.
The House of Representatives passed The MORE Act last month. There is no time to waste delivering this vital legislation to the United States Senate and then President Biden’s desk.
Please use your position to ensure that we end the harm of criminalization and legalize marijuana. Thanks.
▶ First sent on April 10, 2022 by Jess Craven