“It’s a disparity that has persisted for years, despite data showing that Black and white residents use cannabis at similar rates.”
By Christopher Ingraham, Minnesota Reformer
Black Minnesotans are nearly five times as likely to be arrested on marijuana charges as white ones, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
It’s a disparity that has persisted for years, despite data showing that Black and white residents use cannabis at similar rates. The recent statewide legalization of certain marijuana edibles is likely to draw even further scrutiny to marijuana policing practices.
In 2021 there were 6,055 marijuana arrests in the state, according to BCA’s latest data. The drug accounted for a little over one-third of all Minnesota drug arrests. Close to 90 percent of marijuana arrests in Minnesota are for simple possession, rather than sales or distribution.
Because marijuana is decriminalized in Minnesota, many incidents listed as possession “arrests” in the state database are actually citations for possession, somewhat akin to a traffic ticket. But the data does not distinguish between such a citation and a normal arrest involving handcuffs and potential jail
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