City Delegate says Baltimore Pot Arrests Contain 'Shameful, Racial Bias'
Updated: Friday, February 21 2014, 01:18 PM EST
Gubernatorial candidate Delegate Heather Mizeur blasted Baltimore City’s latest arrest data for minor marijuana offenses as "shameful" and racially biased.
The latest figures released by the police department show African-Americans comprised 91% of minor marijuana arrests in 2013, numbers which State Del. Mizeur called both bad policy and discriminatory.
Last year the city arrested 6,410 people for minor possession of marijuana. Roughly 5,400 of those arrests were African Americans. According to latest US Census data 63.6% of the population in the city is African-American.
"While Baltimore City cracked down on thousands of nonviolent marijuana users with shameful racial bias, there were 540 shootings and 235 homicides," Mizeur said. "This is just the latest example of how broken our marijuana laws have become. But we can end this public safety failure this year--let's decriminalize marijuana right now so that we can stop ruining lives and start focusing on violent criminals."
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has remained a staunch supporter of maintaining current marijuana laws.