Chicago’s marijuana tickets better, but still victimize black neighborhoods

Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast is doing the Lord’s work and reporting on the drug war like a boss today.

The post reaffirms how racist the drug was is, see this gem:

And it offers two bits of good news from the Nation’s Cord Jefferson.

The first:

In New York City, for instance, minor marijuana arrests are down thanks to a Bloomberg-backed effort to give leeway to people in possession of small amounts of the drug….

New York drug arrests decreased after Bloomberg came out against the NYPD’s blatantly racist stop and frisk program. So yay for that.

And the second:

The Chicago City Council ruled last month to allow cops to give tickets to people in possession of fifteen grams of pot or less rather than arresting them.

Forgive my picnic raining, but I’d hardly count Chicago’s ALLOWING cops to ticket as opposed to arrest as good news. Sure, tickets won’t cost victims their jobs like arrests do. But with tickets come quotas, meaning cops will still harass black people.

Cops arrest blacks disproportionately because cops are just in black neighborhoods more because they’re generally more crime ridden. And arresting someone for possession is much easier than actually solving property crimes. The problem is circular though.

The war on drugs increases violence and property crime by:

  • Making drugs more expensive, exacerbating the problem of addicts stealing to obtain drugs.
  • Making drug sales more lucrative. Black markets for lucrative goods and services tend to be dominated by cartels, who maintain monopolies through violence. (Turf wars)
  • Preventing buyers and sellers from using the courts for property rights enforcement. Theft is dealt with swiftly, organically and often violently.

Most of the violence is in buying and selling hard drugs, which happens more in black neighborhoods. This brings cops in, who do little to stop violence but are very effective at harassing people for possession, which creates antagonism between police and neighborhoods, further hurting cops’ chances of solving cases involving real crimes.

Healing the antagonistic relationship between law enforcement and black neighborhoods takes more than telling cops to ticket rather than arrest. It will require nothing less than a white market for drugs.


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