Currently, the Georgia State Legislature is studying reform of Georgia’s criminal justice system and laws. A Report of the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians is available for viewing. Georgia C.A.R.E. Project encourages the state to focus on the antiquated marijuana laws.
*From ACLU / MPP – WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a report released Monday evening that details marijuana possession arrest rates in the United States from 2001 to 2010, Georgia marijuana possession laws are disproportionately enforced against blacks.
Georgia had the sixth highest arrest rate in the nation (389 per 100,000) and the sixth most total arrests for marijuana possession in 2010 (32,473), of which blacks accounted for approximately 64%. Blacks were 3.69 times more likely to be arrested than whites.
“Marijuana prohibition is taking a toll on the entire country, but Georgia is among the states paying the biggest price,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Law enforcement resources would be better spent addressing serious crimes instead of arresting adults for using a substance objectively less harmful than alcohol.”
“Marijuana prohibition laws are not only irrational, but also unfair,” Tvert said. “Discrimination against communities of color played a role in their creation and it continues to play a role in their enforcement.”
The report, prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is based Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program and the United States Census Bureau’s annual county population estimates. The full report is available at http://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/war-marijuana-black-and-white-report.