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ACLU The War on Marijuana Report, June 2013

ACLU The War on Marijuana Report, June 2013

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Civil liberties group report
Civil liberties group report

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Published by: thomaswheatley on Jun 05, 2013
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07/11/2013

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Despite the pronounced disparities in arrest rates of whites and Blacks for marijuana
possession, rates of marijuana use and non-use between whites and Blacks are roughly
equal. Therefore, the wide racial disparities in marijuana possession arrest rates cannot
be explained by differences in marijuana usage rates between whites and Blacks.

Among all age groups since 2001, use by Blacks of marijuana in the past 12 months is
slightly higher than use by Whites. In 2010, for instance, 14.0% of Blacks and 11.6% of
whites reported using marijuana in the past year. In 2009, reported use of marijuana in
the past year was 12.4% for Blacks and 11.7% for whites. In 2001, 9.8% of whites and
9.3% of Blacks reported using marijuana over the past year. See Figure 21.

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Source:�National�Household�Survey�on�Drug�Abuse�and�Health,�2001-2010

Marijuana�Use�by�Race:�Used�Marijuana�in�Past�12�Months�(2001-2010)

FIGURE�21

Percent�White�Used

Percent�Black�Used

Every year between 2001 and 2010, among 18- to 25-year-olds — a group with higher
arrest rates generally than other age brackets — more whites than Blacks had used
marijuana in the previous 12 months. In 2010, for instance, among 18- to 25-year-olds,
33.4% of whites and 27.6% of Blacks reported using marijuana in the past year. See
Figure 22.

| 67

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Source:�National�Household�Survey�on�Drug�Abuse�and�Health,�2001-2010

Marijuana�Use�Among�18-�to�25-Year-Olds�by�Race:�Used�Marijuana�in�Past�12
Months�(2001-2010)

FIGURE�22

Percent�White�Used

Percent�Black�Used

In terms of non-use of marijuana, 59.3% of Blacks and 54.1% of whites in 2010 reported
having never used marijuana. In fact, in every year between 2001 and 2010, more Blacks
than whites reported having never used marijuana. See Figure 23.

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Source:�National�Household�Survey�on�Drug�Abuse�and�Health,�2001-2010

Marijuana�Use�by�Race:�Never�Used�Marijuana�(2001-2010)

FIGURE�23

Percent�White�Never�Used

Percent�Black�Never�Used

Marijuana Arrests

68 | The War on Marijuana in Black and White

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