Many states, even those which haven’t yet legalized cannabis for adult use, have recognized the need to address the massive, historical and ongoing disparities in drug law enforcement. Over decades, these disparities have contributed to the United States becoming the world’s largest jailer, a country not just of mass incarceration but of the hyper-incarceration of people of color specifically.
More recently, these disparities have been touchstones for progressive critiques of the criminal legal system and of drug policy. Marijuana legalization efforts are regularly framed as social justice measures aimed at redressing these inequalities and their many harms. As are moves to decriminalize minor cannabis possession and even to expunge the records of people with past marijuana convictions.
In Florida, however, there’s evidence to suggest that racially disparate marijuana enforcement is actually getting worse, not better.
Black Floridians Four Times More Likely Than Whites To Face Arrest for Weed
An analysis of new arrest and booking data from the Miami-Dade Police Department shows that racial disparities in marijuana arrests are becoming even more disproportional. The data confirms what the ACLU published in its July 2018 report on criminal justice data in Miami-Dade from 2010 to