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In 2020, CPD arrested three times as many African-Americans for cannabis than all other ethnicities combined

Friday, Apr 16, 2021

* Will Lee at the Tribune

Three times the number of African Americans were arrested for marijuana-related offenses in Chicago than other ethnicities combined in 2020, according to Chicago Police Department arrest totals retrieved under a Freedom of Information Act request. […]

During the first year of marijuana legalization, Black people led all ethnic groups in arrests with 2,311, making up more than three-quarters of all marijuana arrests in Chicago. Latinos made up the second highest number of arrests with 506.

Whites made up about 4% of arrests in Chicago, with 117 arrests across the city for the entire year. Asians and Pacific Islanders made up fewer than 1% with just 25 arrests. […]

The arrests don’t represent people smoking pot on the sidewalk or inside their homes. Most arrests involve possessing or attempting to sell amounts over the legal limit of 30 grams. Smoking marijuana while driving remains illegal.

Go read the whole thing.

* Related…

* Kane County lifts ban, ushers in marijuana businesses to unincorporated areas

* West Loop cafe infusing food with ‘diet weed’ draws long lines, complaints — prompting alderman to intervene

* Movie houses are closing. Could pot palaces open in their place?

* Cannabis group calls for regulation of Delta-8 products sold outside of cannabis dispensaries in Illinois

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Can - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:34 am:

    This is what over-policing looks like. We’re focused as a society on the killings now, and rightfully so, but the police as a whole treat people of color poorly in a multitude of ways. The stats, like the ones reported in Mr. Lee’s excellent piece, don’t lie.


  2. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:39 am:

    “The arrests don’t represent people smoking pot on the sidewalk or inside their homes. Most arrests involve possessing or attempting to sell amounts over the legal limit of 30 grams. Smoking marijuana while driving remains illegal.”


  3. - willowglen - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:46 am:

    So the arrests are for citizens of color violating the exclusive legal (at least at the state level) rights granted to dispensaries by the State? Not paying the Machine has consequences.


  4. - Shield - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    - Amalia - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:39 am:

    Reading comprehension not a strong suit?.

    “A previous American Civil Liberties Union analysis found that white motorists in Illinois were found with a higher percentage of contraband, despite being pulled over less.”


  5. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 10:23 am:

    Shield: complete analysis much?


  6. - Jocko - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 10:29 am:

    While I’m sure there are racist overtones, keep in mind that those same police districts with marijuana arrests have heavy gang involvement.

    The likelihood of my person or property being damaged at a suburban dispensary is effectively zero.


  7. - Put the fun in unfunded - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    If race is relevant, is gender? If not, why not? Five times the number of men were arrested in Chicago than all other genders combined in 2019, according to Chicago Police Department arrest totals. Do the police as a whole treat men poorly in a multitude of ways? The stats don’t lie.


  8. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    What’s your point Amalia? Are you saying African Americans are 3 times more inclined than white people to sell weed or drive while impaired? Racist much?


  9. - Moe Berg - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 11:11 am:

    If you are middle class or rich in Illinois, you can legally buy the high-priced weed products that lawmakers allow to be sold.

    Lawmakers have created artificial scarcity for a plant that anyone can easily grow.

    Because everyone, regardless of income levels, wants to consume cannabis, there is going to remain demand for less expensive product from those who can’t afford to pay sky-high dispensary prices. Where there is demand there will be someone to meet it.

    Let’s eliminate a market that cartels are serving and that’s fueling violence. Open it up to anyone who wants to get in. Stop locking up Black people for distributing the same product rich, venture-capitalist and private-equity backed white people are selling.


  10. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    === If race is relevant, is gender? If not, why not? Five times the number of men were arrested in Chicago than all other genders combined in 2019===
    We’re talking about marijuana arrests. Recreational marijuana wasn’t legal in 2019.


  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===If race is relevant, is gender?===

    There’s a certain type of person who is always looking for loopholes when it comes to race.


  12. - Unconventionalwisdom - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    =The arrests don’t represent people smoking pot on the sidewalk or inside their homes. Most arrests involve possessing or attempting to sell amounts over the legal limit of 30 grams. Smoking marijuana while driving remains illegal.=

    So what is the piece trying to say. That Blacks are specifically targeted more than other groups or that they just commit more of these crimes?


  13. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 1:48 pm:

    There’s a certain type of person who is always looking for loopholes when it comes to race. - Rich Miller

    My Mom used to call that “Lowering the boom”.


  14. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 2:58 pm:

    I’m sure if we policed the Gold Coast and the Viagra Triangle with keen nose and a little bit of stop and frisk thrown in - we could even up those numbers… Now why don’t we??


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