By Betty Aldworth, Advocacy Director, Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
A new report from the Marijuana Arrest Research Project just came out today. And the findings are startling.
In the 25 years from 1986 to 2010, police and sheriffs’ departments in Colorado made 210,000 arrests for the crime of possessing small amounts of marijuana. That’s enough to empty the cities of Fort Collins and Grand Junction combined.
It gets worse. Although young African Americans and Latinos use marijuana at lower rates than young whites, in the last 10 years, police in Colorado arrested Latinos at 1.5 times the rate of whites and arrested blacks at 3.1 times the rate of whites.
This report is comprehensive, informative, and important. I hope you’ll take a moment to read the report, then share it with friends, family, and colleagues who may still be on the fence about Amendment 64.
There were a number of other findings of great concern in this report. Here are a few:
- Marijuana arrests are increasing. In the five years from 1986 to 1990, police in Colorado made 19,400 possession arrests. Twenty years later, from 2006 to 2010, police made 55,900 marijuana possession arrests, almost three times as many.
- Marijuana arrests disproportionately impact our youth. From 2001 through 2010, Colorado police made 108,000 arrests for possessing marijuana, overwhelmingly of young people. More than two‐thirds (69%) of those arrested were 25 or younger, 79% were 29 or younger, and 86% of those arrested were age 34 or younger.
- Marijuana arrests devastate our communities. Marijuana possession arrests create criminal records easily found on the internet by employers, landlords, schools, credit agencies, licensing boards, and banks, erecting barriers to education, employment, and housing. Marijuana possession arrests do not reduce serious crimes, and they take police from other crime‐fighting work.
I hope this report makes you understand the urgency of passing Amendment 64 even more and inspires you to talk to your friends about the initiative. We can’t afford to wait any longer to end marijuana prohibition. It’s time to pass Amendment 64.
P.S. Want to get more involved? Sign up to call voters this weekend or next. With the race incredibly close, a couple hours of your time may make all the difference. Thanks so much.