Study: Police Make Fewer Traffic Stops Following Marijuana Legalization, But People of Color Still Disproportionately Targeted

Study: Police Make Fewer Traffic Stops Following Marijuana Legalization, But People of Color Still Disproportionately Targeted

Police are less likely to conduct searches for illicit contraband during a traffic stop following the enactment of adult-use marijuana legalization, according to data published in the journal Nature: Human Behavior. A team of researchers affiliated with Stanford University and New York University assessed the effects of statewide legalization laws in Colorado and Washington on traffic stop outcomes. Investigators reported, “After the legalization of marijuana, the number of searches fell substantially” in both states as compared to rates in 12 control states (jurisdictions that did not amend their marijuana laws). In addition, “the proportion of stops that resulted in either a drug-related infraction or misdemeanor fell substantially in both states after marijuana was legalized.” However, despite the overall decline in traffic stop-related searchers, authors reported that African Americans and Hispanics continued to be subject to vehicle searches at disproportionate rates. “We found that white drivers faced consistently higher search thresholds than minority drivers, both before and after marijuana legalization,” they wrote. “The data thus suggest that, although overall search rates dropped in Washington and Colorado, black and Hispanic drivers still faced discrimination in search decisions.” Nationwide, African Americans’ and Hispanics’ vehicles are searched about twice as often as are those of white motorists. Authors concluded, “We find that legalization reduced both search rates and misdemeanor rates for drug offenses for white, black, and Hispanic drivers – though a gap in search thresholds persists.” Their findings are similar to those reported in 2017 by The Marshall Project and the Center for…

Excerpt only …
READ MORE BELOW
Source : norml
Link to original : Study: Police Make Fewer Traffic Stops Following Marijuana Legalization, But People of Color Still Disproportionately Targeted
reposted by Cannabis News World

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.