Racism drives cannabis arrests

As most Americans know, if you're Black and/or Brown in the United Snakes you're more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession. My home state of South Dakota is infamous for it where a state trooper routinely spent his time systematically profiling cars with license plates from states with legal cannabis until a Washington man stood his ground. Cannabis is legal in Washington but South Dakota convicted African-American Donald Willingham with multiple counts in Pennington County after Trooper Zach Bader illegally profiled the vehicle in which he was riding on Interstate 90.

The overwhelming number of people profiled from legal cannabis states on I-90 are persons of color as is the population in South Dakota’s jails and prisons. Black man Yiel Wuol of Spokane, Washington and Joshua McLean of Raymond were arrested and convicted in South Dakota after being pulled over for driving TWO MILES AN HOUR over the speed limit!

New Approach Montana is suing a Republican secretary of state over a ban on electronic signature gathering where legal cannabis for all adults is likely headed to the ballot. Despite legalizing therapeutic cannabis Montana is the worst for race-based arrests while Colorado and other legal states experience the least disparity.
Racial profiling among law enforcement is directly to blame for these disparities. Police often target people (for stop and frisk, search, and arrest) based on their actual or perceived race rather than reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. States must legalize marijuana, and do so as a matter of racial justice. This means not only legalizing marijuana with the specific goal of undoing some of the harms of decades of racist criminal legal policies, but pursuing broader reforms in the criminal legal system to ensure that the harms of the war on marijuana do not simply re-materialize in other ways after legalization. [A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform]
Yes, say it with me: cops' lives suck. Little wonder they abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and occasionally murder their wives.

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