MARIJUANA
CRIMINALIZATION
PROMOTES RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

 

The criminalization of marijuana disproportionately harms African-Americans, and decriminalizing marijuana is a major first step in reversing the trends of institutional racism that harms our state. Marijuana legalization is a social justice issue that will have an immediate impact on our lives and our communities by removing artificial barriers that many African-Americans face as a result of differing treatment for the same actions as whites.

 

 

MARIJUANA
USAGE
BY RACE

Based on the arrest data, it might surprise you to learn that there is not much difference in marijuana use by race. Many national studies and surveys have been done to determine who uses marijuana.

STUDY 1


A study was completed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) asking people whether they had ever used marijuana. Each year, more white people reported to have tried marijuana at least once in their life than African Americans.


STUDY 2


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also did a survey to see how often people used marijuana within the last 12 months. They found that the numbers were about the same for people who had used marijuana in the last 12 months, with the largest difference being only a few percentage points.




The results are clear: African Americans and Caucasians
use marijuana at about the same rate.

MARIJUANA
ARRESTS
BY RACE

While African Americans and Caucasians might consume marijuana at about the same rates, the arrest numbers are staggeringly different. In Kentucky, African Americans are almost 6x more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people. The problem is only getting worse too. In 2001, African Americans were 2.4x more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession and that jumped up to 6x in 2010. That’s a 145.8% increase in 10 years for the worse.



AFRICAN AMERICAN VS WHITE ARREST
FOR POSSESSION IN KENTUCKY





PERCENTAGE BLACKS ARRESTED
MORE THAN WHITE IN KENTUCKY





However, African Americans account for only 8% of
Kentucky's total population.

KENTUCKY WORSE THAN NATIONAL AVERAGE



Nationally, African Americans people are 3.73 more likely to be arrested. However,
many counties in Kentucky are well above that national average.



AFRICAN AMERICAN VS CAUCASIAN
ARREST RATE BY COUNTY IN KENTUCKY



Just to make it a little more clear, here is a chart showing some counties
and how much more likely an African American is to be arrested:



MARIJUANA
DECRIMINALIZATION
IS A SOCIAL JUSTICE
ISSUE WHERE
WE CAN MAKE A
DIFFERENCE


Making progress on many social justice issues feel like one step forward, two steps back. Marijuana decriminalization is a practical, achievable change that will instantly make progress in equality, equal treatment under the law, and eliminating institutional racism and classism that disproportionately affects African-Americans in the job market, the criminal justice system and educational institutions. In these troubled times, marijuana decriminalization is a concrete change that will have a powerful impact on the lives of Kentuckians.

LATEST NEWS

Election Follow-Up and Volunteers Needed

Things are moving fast around the county and Kentucky needs to catch up.  I’ve provided some updates on the changes in marijuana laws made in the November 8th election and, more importantly, what we need to do in Kentucky. The legislative session begins January 3 in Frankfort and we need to make our voices heard.  You will be amazed…

We Need to Educate Our Lawmakers

We Need to Educate Our Lawmakers

While we were not able to get a bill passed this session, we made a lot of behind-the-scenes progress that will lay the groundwork for a successful effort next session!  The keys to victory are twofold: education and voters contacting their legislators. To help advance the first piece, education, we are co-hosting the Southern Cannabis…

Nichole Nimmo Shares Her Cannabis Story

Nichole Nimmo Shares Her Cannabis Story

Watch Kentucky citizen Nichole Nimmo share her personal story. She discusses how marijuana helped her get off numerous pain pills after battling cancer and severe arthritis. Nichole also discusses how she believes our marijuana laws are outdated and punish those who should not be punished. Thank you, Nichole!! You have bravely shared your story and are…

NEWS! We have a Bill

NEWS! We have a Bill

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Senator Morgan McGarvey has introduced a medical cannabis bill (SB 304) that allows medical cannabis for hospice and end of life patients. This bill has a lot of support from both parties, but we need to make sure this important bill gets a chance for an actual vote. To do that, we need you…

Donation Over $25 Gets Free Shirt

Donation Over $25 Gets Free Shirt

We have new Legalize Kentucky Now t-shirts! We only printed up a limited number and each have text reading “First Run Limited Edition.” The first 100 people to donate $25 or more to our cause from now until the end of March will get a t-shirt. When you donate, just write your size in the order…

Writing Your Representative

Writing Your Representative

We have had a few people ask us for a template when writing your representatives in Frankfort. we think that any way you contact them and let them know your opinion s great. If you need a little help finding the words, we have some suggestions. We think there are two ways to go about writing…

News: We Hired a Lobbyist!

News: We Hired a Lobbyist!

Legalize Kentucky Now has hired a lobbyist to help our efforts in Frankfort. Below is a statement from Mike Ward, our CEO: “We are excited to announce that we have retained Jason Underwood of Capitol Strategies to help us educate and advocate for this important cause in Frankfort during this session. Jason’s strategic and tactical…

Free Cannabis Health Summit

Free Cannabis Health Summit

There is an free online Cannabis Health Summit hosted by Green Flower taking place January 23-24. We encourage everyone who is interested to sign up here. They will have experts in the field talking about the science of Cannabis and how it interacts with our bodies.  It will be very educational and help dispel many…

Minnesota recognizes value of medical marijuana for pain management

At times, understanding the status of marijuana across the country is daunting. With so many different levels of legalization, we’re left asking, “can’t we all just agree?” This month, officials in Minnesota brought us one step closer to consensus about which medical conditions should be treated with medical marijuana. The state has joined many others…

Not all medical marijuana programs are created equal

Not all medical marijuana programs are created equal

Although “legalize marijuana” is a concise slogan that accurately conveys the sentiment of sensible supporters everywhere, the reality isn’t quite so straightforward. As much as we might like it to be, marijuana is far from an “all or nothing” deal. Between recreational use, medical marijuana, and decriminalization, there are many different options for forward progress….

          

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