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ACLU study: 6 of 7 people arrested for marijuana statewide are black

The DEA in a Trafficker bust By Rad Racer at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
The DEA in a Trafficker bust By Rad Racer at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Six of every seven people arrested for marijuana possession in Wisconsin are black.

That’s according to a new study by the American Civil Liberties Union – which is using a similar report nationally to push for a legalization of pot.

The ACLU said it used 2010 census and FBI data to come up with its figures. It only counts individual arrests and does not take repeat offenders into account.

The report said that in Waukesha County, 12 blacks were arrested for pot possession for every white in 2010.

In Brown County, the ACLU said 7 blacks get marijuana raps for every white offender.

Other ratios are 6.5 to 1 in Dane County, in the Madison area – and 4.7 to 1 in Milwaukee County.

The ACLU contends that blacks and whites smoke marijuana at about the same rate.

Its surveys showed that 14 percent of blacks admitted getting high on pot in 2010, and 12 percent of whites.

State and local law enforcement officials have not commented on the report.

The ACLU says government should tax and regulate marijuana. Chris Ahmuty, the group’s state director, admits such changes would be hard to pass.

So in the meantime, he says local police should make pot users a low priority. Ahmuty says getting guns off the streets should be a bigger priority.

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