Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

High Marijuana Arrests: Signs of Racism & Over-Policing

marijuana leafThe American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released a new report on arrests and incarceration for marijuana possession. The findings are startling– in light of new research showing multiple medical uses for marijuana, the increased number of states with medical marijuana, legalization of marijuana in two states, and widespread usage of marijuana by millions of Americans.

Here are a few of the high points:

  • African Americans are four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as whites, despite similar usage.
  • In 2010, there was one marijuana arrest every 41 seconds; this cost taxpayers $3.6 billion dollars in that year alone. [Dear Congress, The War on Drugs is a waste of money. Give this money to the food stamp program.]/span>
  • Between 2001-2010, there were 8.2 million arrests for marijuana– 88% were for possession.
  • 50% of all drug arrests in the US are for marijuana. [Here’s a hint for cities that cry about the need for more police: maybe some of them should work on murders, rapes, and robberies instead of victim-less crimes like marijuana possession.]

From the Huffington Post:

“The war on marijuana has disproportionately been a war on people of color,” Edwards said in the [ACLU] release. “State and local governments have aggressively enforced marijuana laws selectively against Black people and communities, needlessly ensnaring hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system at tremendous human and financial cost.”…

The ACLU is calling “for states to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.”

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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