Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Marijuana arrests not necessarily biased

I read with astonishment The Sun's recent editorial concerning the arrest rates of whites versus blacks for marijuana possession in Baltimore City ("Md.'s new Jim Crow," June 9). Apparently, the ACLU feels that there is some sort of conspiracy at work here.

The editorial states that between 2001 and 2010 (the last year data was available ), the arrest rate for whites was down 20 percent from its peak in 2005 and the arrest rate for blacks has increased by 20 percent for the same period. Surely something is amiss here. How could it be?

I don't profess to be any kind of expert on the subject but maybe it's the influence of the rap stars such as Snoop Dogg, Lion and Fifty Cent who glorify marijuana use. I grew up in the 1970s and we had Cheech and Chong who had a similar effect on all of us from that time. According to The Sun, surveys found that roughly the same percentage of blacks and whites say they smoke pot, so there must be something underhanded going on here, but I think not.

Maybe it's more likely the fact that Baltimore, which was predominantly African-American in 2001 has become more so in 2010 and the trend continues today. So using The Sun's data that says marijuana use is equal among whites and blacks, it makes sense to conclude that marijuana arrests for blacks will continue to rise and among whites it will continue to decline.

Could it be that simple?

Mark Wilson, Fallston

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • End America's failed war on marijuana
    End America's failed war on marijuana

    Regarding Daniel Takash's thoughtful commentary on marijuana laws, marijuana prohibition is indefensible ("Marijuana legalization is the only option," Oct. 27).

  • Medical marijuana could help decrease overdoses
    Medical marijuana could help decrease overdoses

    In the article "Overdose patients repeatedly end up in hospital" (Dec. 30), The Sun highlighted a number of strategies to deal with epidemic problem of narcotic abuse. Not mentioned, however, is an article from the August 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Significantly it...

  • Pot users treated as non-persons
    Pot users treated as non-persons

    Maryland legislators should take in account U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment in their consideration of what to do with the marijuana laws ("Maryland lawmakers take fresh run at legalizing marijuana," Jan. 31). No state shall deprive a person of their life, liberty and property without due...

  • Fixing Md.'s marijuana law [Editorial]
    Fixing Md.'s marijuana law [Editorial]

    Our view: Already critics are poking holes in the state's pot decriminalization law are becoming clear; lawmakers should fix the obvious problems but otherwise wait to see how it works in practice

  • Repeal destructive drug laws [Letter]
    Repeal destructive drug laws [Letter]

    McKenzie Elliott, the 3-year-old shot to death in Baltimore, is a recent victim of misguided drug laws ("Politicians, churchmen talk policing in Northwest Baltimore," Sept. 9). While I do not support open use of "illegal drugs," I do not find that drug sales or use represent a criminal act....

  • Medical marijuana rules a work in progress [Letter]
    Medical marijuana rules a work in progress [Letter]

    As members of the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission's policy subcommittee, we are honored to be able to serve our fellow citizens to develop a program that makes medical marijuana available to those Marylanders who have not found relief from conventional treatments and may benefit...

Comments
Loading