NEW: New England NAACP Calls for Marijuana Legalization in RI
Monday, March 03, 2014
According to the release from the NAACP, it recommends passage for the following reasons:
See New England NAACP Reasons for Marijuana Legalization in RI BELOW
1) For more than seven decades, arresting marijuana users has failed to prevent marijuana use.
2) There is an alarming racial disparity in marijuana arrests in Rhode Island and across the United States. African Americans continue to be arrested at nearly three and one half (3 ½) times the rate of Whites. Even though the NAACP and many other advocates have called for an end in the disparate arrest of African Americans for marijuana use and possession, the alarming disparate arrest rate continues unabated. These arrest rates reflect differential treatment by law enforcement officers since the rate of use between African Americans and White is roughly the same. There appears to be no near term solution for the race based arrest of African American marijuana users by law enforcement officers.
3) In 2012, the NAACP called for law enforcement priorities and investments shift from primary low-level, small-scale drug offenses to violent, organized crime, drug and gun traffickers, in order to reduce harm associated with the illicit drug market. Such advocacy by the NAACP has failed to result in meaningful change.
4) In 2012, the NAACP also found that low-level, non-violent drug possession crimes produce a lifetime of consequences for incarcerated drug offenders.
5) In 2011, the NAACP found that funds that should go into education and health are diverted to the war on drugs leaving public schools struggling and underfunded.
6) Also in 2011, the NAACP found that the war on drugs had failed and, the NAACP has consistently advocated for federal, state and local governments to repeal the war on drugs and institute in its place a public health approach that concentrates on reducing drug abuse and its destructive consequences.
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