LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — While about 51 percent of the District’s population is black, black people make up about 91 percent of all marijuana arrests in the city.

That’s according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which based their findings off of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program and annual county population estimates from the U.S. Census.

In Maryland, where black people make up 30 percent of the total population, they account for 58 percent of pot-related arrests. In Virginia, 20 percent of residents are black but about 43.5 percent of marijuana-related arrestees are.

“The war on marijuana has largely been a war on people of color,” the ACLU report says. “Despite the fact that marijuana is used at comparable rates by whites and blacks, state and local governments have aggressively enforced marijuana laws selectively against black people and communities.”

All 50 states and D.C. have a larger percentage of black arrests than it does percentage of blacks in the general population. D.C.’s discrepancy between the two percentages is the second highest in the country, after Illinois. Maryland and Virginia are both in the top 20.

Calls for comment to D.C.’s Fraternal Order of Police went unreturned for this piece.


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