- Published on 08 June 2013
- Written by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director,
New York, NY: African Americans are far more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession offenses than are whites, according to an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report released this week that analyzes arrest data from 945 counties nationwide.
The report found that blacks were approximately four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2010, even though both ethnicities consumed the substance at similar rates. Authors reported that the racial disparity in arrest rates had grown significantly over the past decade and that in some states - including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin - African Americans were nearly eight times as likely as Caucasians to be arrested for cannabis possession.
Overall, blacks were more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis violations in 908 of the 945 counties reviewed by the ACLU.
"We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner," said Ezekiel Edwards, the director of the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project and the lead author of the report.
Authors also estimated that states in 2010 spent an estimated $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws, a 30 percent increase from ten years earlier. This total included $1,747,157,206 in police time, $1,371,200,815 to adjudicate marijuana possession cases, and $495,611,826 to incarcerate individuals for marijuana possession.
In 2010, police made nearly 854,000 arrests for marijuana violations.
- Published on 24 May 2013
- Written by Robert Ryan, Ohio NORML President
Thursday (5/23/2013) the Columbus Dispatch ran an incredible OP-ED by an out of State prohibitionist doctor claiming NORML represents drug dealers. This needed an immediate response from NORML.
Below you will find the the letter I sent to Columbus Dispatch Letters to the Editor. I could have drafted a letter with more facts and rebuttals, but sometime more is less. I would encourage you to write your own letter adding additional facts to the Columbus Dispatch.
The Columbus Dispatch is a key news media to have our voices heard. Our State Representative are located right across the street from the Columbus Dispatch. Please read his OP-ED and the numerous comments following the article and use the links to Letter to the Editor page,
------LTE to Columbus Dispatch -------
Ohio NORML takes exception to Dr. Ed Gogek charge that we represent drug dealers. It is groups like Dr. Ed Gogek's "Keep AZ Drug Free" that keep the drug dealers in business. Our organization would put them out of business.
Furthermore according to Dr. Ed Gogek group's webpage marijuana is "not safe for use even under a physician's care". He is citing the law not the facts. Federal and Ohio laws declare that marijuana is deadly, addictive and with no medical use; a schedule one substance. Note this is in the same classification group as heroin.
Ohio NORML, the State Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws supports adults' right to use marijuana responsibly, whether it be for medical, personal or industrial purposes. Legalization would bring controls, regulations, product labeling and age restrictions.
Dr. Gogek really supports just the opposite. Seems like his business interest is to keep the criminals in charge, who do not have to ask for ID when selling to our children.
President, Ohio NORML
Working to legalize marijuana in Ohio
Columbus Dispatch Letter to the Editor
Columbus Dispatch OP-ED Link
- Published on 04 May 2013
- Written by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director
Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) has introduced a measure that would put marijuana legalization on the ballot before state voters. House Joint Resolution 6 would place a question on the Ohio ballot asking voters to approve allowing people 21 or older to purchase and use marijuana. Under this proposal marijuana would be sold only by state-licensed establishments and would be subject to a 15 percent excise tax.
“With billions upon billions spent on the war on drugs with little progress to show for it, it is time for more-sensible drug policy in this country,” stated Representative Hagan.
To be placed on the ballot, HJR 6 would need to receive a three-fifths vote from the legislature. The full text of the measure is available online here.
Please take a moment to contact your Representative and urge him/her to support this historic legislation! It is time to let the people of Ohio decide for themselves whether or not it is time to legalize marijuana. Use the link below to contact your representative and then call them or better yet setup a meeting in your district with them.