Are California’s Cops Donating Money to Keep Targeting Minorities?

A new study released today shows conclusively that in California’s largest cities African-Americans are arrested for marijuana possession at much higher rates that whites. In the 25 cities profiled, African-Americans were arrested at four to 12 times the rate of whites, despite much higher use rates among whites.

This horrifying disparity is one reason Proposition 19 has earned the support of civil rights groups, including the California NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens of California. These numbers make it clear that removing penalties for marijuana possession would eliminate a tool that has been used to institute a system of pervasive racism in the Golden State. Given that even a single possession charge can result in severe economic and social consequences, the fact that arrests are focused so disproportionately on minority communities is an overwhelming argument for reform on November 2nd.

Some folks disagree, namely the majority of California’s law enforcement community. Several law enforcement groups have given large sums of money to the campaign against Proposition 19, the most recent being the California Police Chiefs Association, who donated $20,000 to No on Prop. 19.

Throughout the public debates on this issue, law enforcement groups (other than those backing Prop 19) have said that reformers need to prove why marijuana should not be illegal. It seems much more reasonable to expect the burden of proof to be on the other side, especially when marijuana prohibition results in such obvious racial persecution. Yet law enforcement does not rise to this challenge, probably because there is no justification for such practices in a civilized society.

Could it be that some California cops actually like targeting minorities?

If Proposition 19 passes, they will lose their easiest way to do so.

Interestingly, the largest law enforcement group supporting Proposition 19 is…

…the National Black Police Association.

12 thoughts on “Are California’s Cops Donating Money to Keep Targeting Minorities?”

  1. So the man is donating (using our tax money) to oppose the will of the voters, again.

    I thought they just blindly enforced the law. The laws that “if you don’t like them, change them” they should be exempt from voting on or lobbying for themselves, as that would be conflict of interest. Having say in setting laws that they profit from, is wrong.
    The corruption caused by cannabis prohibition reaches everywhere. Using our taxes to lobby against us, zero tolerence, forfiture/siezure, the constant lies…can’t wait to have all that behind us.

  2. If pot was legal then the law enforcement will have safe new reliable allies to reduce or to prevent crime. But because of the marijuana prohibition; every citizens is a potential criminal. Marijuana prohibition has made society a much dangerous place.

    Pass the peace pipe.
    Vote YES Proposition 19

  3. $20,000? That’s the best they can do? Chump change. Won’t even make a dent. Prop 19 is gonna pass by 68% no matter how much they spend. The closet pot smokers have been waiting for this moment to come out. Bank on it!

  4. I seriously doubt pulling out the race card is going to work on the marijuana issue. I also think the tobacco argument is weak as is the comparison to alcohol. The real issue here is “why do we let the government regulate our personal lives”?

  5. I hope you’re right Mark (#5). A landslide victory would be an even more powerful statement, but we have to wait another 10 days to see what Cali voters do.

    Like Grob (#6) I’m not sure that the police opposition reflects a desire to keep minorities suppressed, or that suggesting racism is such a good idea. I think cops see a side of life that’s skewed. They are more likely to see pot use associated with other criminal activity and tend to link the two as cause-effect.

    Then there’s the alcohol thing. While much crime is actually linked to alcohol, cops are also big users and abusers of it so tend to be in denial about how much worse it is than marijuana. Marijuana becomes a convenient scapegoat and whipping boy that reinforces that denial.

    There’s also the money thing. Much government financial support for police comes via the drug war, and marijuana is the easiest to detect and most common currently illegal substance out there. It’s a cash cow for law enforcement that they are reluctant to lose.

    And, there’s just plain corruption. Some police are on the payroll of drug dealers and cartels. Those folks are not stupid and do not want to see prohibition ending.

  6. This should be illegal as well, it is our tax money they are donating. Public tax money should not be used in this way. They are protecting a cash cow that should have been put to death decades ago.

  7. The post note at the end of the report addresses the infraction bill’s passage on this issue and, according to the authors, it will make the situation even worse for Blacks and Latinos. without the passage of Prop 19.

  8. Well here we are…8 days til D-Day. Last week for the prohib nuts to pull something magical out of thier asses…. like more statistical lies , reefer madness we havent heard yet, create a false flag the blame it on reformers…..ya it will be magical.

  9. I do not live in California, so Prop 19 does not apply to me. However, Of californian’s I ask this :
    1. Please keep in you minds the Damage done not ONLY to California but to the rest of America from the Violent Gangs that Plaque’s our streets.

    2. To keep in mind We are also oppressed by government.

    3. To keep in mind the Horable Killings of thousands of Mexicans, that is still on going.

    4. To keep in mind our Econamy and what help that Prop 19 can give is better than Spending Money that we don’t have on a War that we can’t win.

    5. To keep in mind that in this Issue you DON”T stand alone.

    And Finally I ask you to remember that When you Go Vote on Nov. 2 That Our hopes and hearts go with you. If I was californian, I would Say “YES ON PROP 19″

    Go california Lead us into a Better way of Life.

  10. Money + corruption = Failure
    The Money is ours! The corruption is this war on us! We are paying for it? The falure is billions of dollars wasted. But wait! someone is lining someones pockets?!?!?!??! Someone got someting, but the ones who paid for it are now in prison or just plain repressed or scared.
    Read on only if you want to change the world…
    We have a few guys at the top. they call themselves Democrats or Republicans. Few of us down here in the ranks even know they are on the same team! They have an agenda and it doesn’t change with an election. Now we also have $300,000,000 people who call themselves Democrats or Republicans. We are bitter enemies as we believe the big boys are. Do you see where they have us? How can we keep from being cheated if we keep on fighting amoungst ourselves? Vote the 3rd Party! anything but Democratic/Republican. Yes we can make a change. The only way to make a change is to change. Einstein said Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Are the People of the United States Insane? I think not! But sometimes scared people do insane things!

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