WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C., Maryland Top The Nation In Rates Of Arrest For Marijuana Possession

Play associated audio
The possession of any amount of marijuana in D.C. is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/l33tpwn3r/6764078833/
The possession of any amount of marijuana in D.C. is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The rates of arrest for marijuana possession in the District of Columbia and Maryland are amongst the highest in the nation, according to a new report released by the American Civil Liberties Union.

D.C. leads the country with the highest arrest rate, totaling 846 arrests per 100,000 residents.

Maryland is not far behind in fourth place for marijuana arrests (409 per 100,000). The numbers for Maryland were buoyed by areas like Worcester County, which has the highest arrest rate for marijuana possession of any county in the country (2,132 per 100,000).

"Marijuana prohibition is taking a toll on the entire country, but Washington, D.C. and Maryland are among the states paying the biggest price,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project in a press release. "Law enforcement resources would be better spent addressing serious crimes instead of arresting adults for using a substance objectively less harmful than alcohol."

It's an issue that has received attention, but has failed to garner concrete legislation from local lawmakers. D.C. Council members Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) said last month that they hope to introduce a bill this year to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

In Maryland, a provision to remove jail time and lower the fine for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana passed the state senate, but did not make it through the House of Delegates.

The report also noted a significant racial disparity in the rate of arrests for marijuana possession. Blacks account for 91 percent of marijuana possession arrests in D.C., and were eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts.

More than a dozen states have eliminated jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

NPR

For A Female Banker At The Top Of Her Game, What Does It Take To Stay There?

In the film Equity, investment banker Naomi Bishop navigates the male-dominated world of Wall Street. Screenwriter Amy Fox discusses the film and her research, which included many interviews with women who worked on Wall Street.
NPR

Salvage Supperclub: A High-End Dinner In A Dumpster To Fight Food Waste

The ingredients — think wilted basil, bruised plums, garbanzo bean water — sound less than appetizing. Whipped together, they're a tasty meal that show how home cooks can use often-tossed foods.
NPR

LISTEN: At The DNC, We Asked Women Why They Were Voting For Clinton

We asked women — as young as 4 and as old as 77 — how much the weight of history factored into their decision.
NPR

New Reports Of Hackers In Democratic Party Computer Systems

The Clinton campaign says its systems were not hit but that a program it uses was in the party's compromised system. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was also hacked.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.