Report: Racial disparities in arrests persist with legal pot

March 25, 2015
Photo: Marijuana recognition class (AP Photo)
In this March 2014 file photo, Colorado State Troopers train in a several week long Drug Recognition Expert class. Legalizing marijuana reduces drug arrests but doesn't solve one of the central goals of drug-policy reformers: ending racial disparities in marijuana enforcement. That's according to a new review of Colorado's criminal justice system.

a new report funded by the pro-marijuana group the Drug Policy Alliance.

The arrest rate for blacks is still 2 and a half times greater than for whites, according to their study of Colorado court data. Though blacks make up only 4 percent of Colorado’s population, they account for 10 percent of marijuana possession arrests. And that arrest rate hasn’t changed since legalization. 

Overall marijuana possession arrests, however, have dropped 94 percent in Colorado since 2010. Distribution charges meanwhile have all but disappeared following the legalization of recreational pot.