Today’s New York Times is reporting on a new analysis of federal data showing that the District of Columbia has the highest racial disparity between blacks and whites in marijuana arrests of any jurisdiction in the nation. Although blacks and whites use pot at similar rates, blacks are arrested at a ratio of over 8-to-1 over whites, according the Times, which had the data independently verified by researchers at Stanford University.
DC tops Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and all other states of the old South in the racial enforcement of marijuana laws. Research has also debunked the theory that blacks are arrested more often because police patrol black area more intensely. Even factoring for patrol differences, the disparity between black and white arrests can only be explained by racial bias in the application of the law.