The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Cops, courts and fires

June 20, 2013

Report shows racial disparities in marijuana arrests

INDIANAPOLIS — A new report that shows significant racial disparity in marijuana arrests may revive the debate over pot penalties in Indiana.

The report, issued in early June by the American Civil Liberties Union, uses a decade’s worth of federal crime reporting data to show that black Americans are disproportionately arrested on marijuana possession charges in Indiana and across the nation.

In 2010 alone, blacks in Indiana were three times more likely to be arrested for possessing marijuana as whites, according to the ACLU report. Nationally, blacks were nearly four times more likely to be arrested on marijuana possession charges in 2010.

The report, “The War on Marijuana in Black and White,” found the disparity exists, despite studies that show blacks and whites use marijuana at about the same rate.

State Sen. Karen Tallian, a liberal Democrat who forged an alliance with some conservative Republican legislators in a failed push to decriminalize marijuana possession this year, said the report validates her concerns about the fairness of the state’s pot laws.

“When you have about 9 percent of the population with almost 28 percent of the arrests, you know something is wrong,” said Tallian of numbers found in the ACLU report comparing the state’s black population in 2010 to that year’s marijuana possession arrests.

Tallian said the report’s findings on the fiscal impact of pot laws may also help re-ignite the debate over the state’s pot penalties.

It found that Indiana spent almost $29 million in 2010 alone on police, courts and prison costs to enforce Indiana’s marijuana possession laws, which are some of the toughest in the nation.

“When you look at the fiscal costs, it’s just amazing,” Tallian said.

The ACLU used numbers from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program to make its case for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana, examining arrests in all 50 states and in nearly 500 counties for a decade.

Text Only
Cops, courts and fires
  • County voting records sought in federal probe

    A federal grand jury has subpoenaed absentee ballot information for Madison County's 2014 primary as part of an FBI investigation.

    July 28, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 28 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 28, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 27 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Friday and Saturday based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 27, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 26 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Thursday and Friday based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • County doctor arrested on drug charges

    A Fishers doctor with ties to Pendleton was arrested Friday in a Drug Enforcement Administration raid of numerous doctor’s office in central Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 25 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Wednesday and Thursday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Accident.jpg Second person dies following Ind. 9 accident

    A second person has died from injuries following an accident Wednesday on Ind. 9. Clayton Crumley, 21, died at IU Health Methodist Hospital, officials said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brown awarded $25,200 settlement A federal jury issued a split verdict in the discrimination case filed by Jack Brown against the city of Anderson that alleged violations of his free speech rights and the American Disabilities Act.

    July 24, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 24 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 24, 2014

  • Appeals Court: Pendleton prison worker harassed Indiana's prison agency forced a former female employee to work in a hostile environment at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, a federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled.

    July 23, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide