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NEW: New England NAACP Calls for Marijuana Legalization in RI

Monday, March 03, 2014


The New England Area Conference of the NAACP announced today that it is formally recommending to the Rhode Island General Assembly that it pass the Marijuana, Regulation, Control and Taxation Act, H7506 and S2379.

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.


Related Slideshow: New England States with Highest Marijuana Arrest Rates

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6. Massachusetts

National Rank for Arrests per Capita: 51

2010 Arrests Per Capita: 18

National Rank for Raw Arrests: 49

2010 Raw Arrests: 1,191

Photo: Flickr/Blind Nomad

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5. Vermont

National Rank for Arrests per Capita: 48

2010 Arrests Per Capita: 119

National Rank for Raw Arrests: 51

2010 Raw Arrests: 737

Photo: Flickr/Victor

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4. New Hampshire

National Rank for Arrests per Capita: 33

2010 Arrests Per Capita: 210

National Rank for Raw Arrests: 41

2010 Raw Arrests: 2,769

Photo: Flickr/Blind Nomad

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3. Rhode Island

National Rank for Arrests per Capita: 31

2010 Arrests Per Capita: 214

National Rank for Raw Arrests: 43

2010 Raw Arrests: 2,243

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2. Maine

National Rank for Arrests per Capita: 30

2010 Arrests Per Capita: 214

National Rank for Raw Arrests: 40

2010 Raw Arrests: 2,842

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1. Connecticut

National Rank for Arrests per Capita: 23

2010 Arrests Per Capita: 247

National Rank for Raw Arrests: 25

2010 Raw Arrests: 8,815

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Number One Overall

Washington D.C.

National Rank for Arrests per Capita: 1

2010 Arrests Per Capita: 846

National Rank for Raw Arrests: 34

2010 Raw Arrests: 5,115

Photo: Flickr/Torben Hansen


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