Marijuana is a racist public policy. I have said that statement so many times that I lost count how many times I’ve said it a long time ago. Anyone who has looked at the data sees that while blacks and whites consume marijuana at relatively the same percentage of population, blacks are almost 4 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana as whites. In some areas, the number is even double or triple that ratio. Marijuana prohibition breeds racial profiling and selective enforcement.
It’s for those reasons, among many others, that a Nevada chapter of the NAACP has publicly expressed support for marijuana legalization in Nevada. Per My News 4:
Jeffery Blanck, the President of the Reno-Sparks NAACP chapter, has sent a letter to legislators urging them to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the 2015 legislature. Since the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association has already collected enough signatures on a petition, Nevada lawmakers have the first 40 days of 2015 to legalize it. If not, it will be placed on the 2016 General Election ballot.
The NAACP believes blacks are targeted in arrests related to marijuana. “We’re spending, in Nevada, almost $40 million a year, our arrest rate in the past 10 years has gone up 96-percent and were in almost the top 10 of the states in the nation on spending money and time on enforcement for marijuana possession,” said Blanck. “We could use this money for other things.”
Enough signatures were gathered in 2014 to marijuana legalization before the Nevada Legislature. If the Nevada Legislature fails to pass the initiative, the initiative will then be referred to Nevada voters on the 2016 ballot. Polling has been favorable in Nevada, and if a strong campaign is implemented, I’m confident that Nevada will join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. by passing marijuana legalization. Numerous other states are likely to pass a marijuana legalization effort as well next year at their legislature, or via an initiative on Election Day 2016.