Racial Disparity in Marijuana Use in America - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1812 Words
Date:  2023-03-20


The essay on racial disparity on marijuana use in America examines in detail the differences in arrests and the use of the drug-using collected data. It seeks to determine racial inequality depending on the place and frequency of use. The paper also examines whether the variations vary in trends over time by race, school, and individual levels. Racial inequality refers to differences that may not necessarily be associated with racial discrimination. Legalization has a significant effect on marijuana use in America. Experts of criminal justice explain that hereditary factors affecting racial disparity depend on the seriousness of the offense and prior criminal record of the accused. Extra-legal factors include issues that affect race or gender. Racial inequality mainly occurs when there is a considerable difference between the percentages of the racial group to that of the whole population. In this case, racial disparity is about whites, blacks, Latinos, and Hispania's in America. The study relates marijuana use to varying differences between the races.

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Legalization Of Marijuana

Marijuana use has become increasingly popular over the years in America. As of July 2019, Washington DC and 11 other states had legalized the use of marijuana (Carliner, Brown, Sarvet & Hasin, 2017). The legalization was not limited to the use or selling of marijuana. The legalization involved possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes, which are argued that it may lead to the introduction of regulatory rules on the drug. Researchers say that taxes related to marijuana could be a boost to the revenue income of local governments. Opponents, however, argue that marijuana could lead to addiction and adverse health effects. Marijuana users could also start using more dangerous drugs, as contended by opponents. Heated debates on the issue of the states legalizing marijuana have been evident over the years. Initially, the legalization involved allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes (Keyes, Wall, Feng, Cerda & Hasin, 2017).

The States that legalized marijuana justified their actions by stating that marijuana legalization would help reduce racial disparities so evident among races in America. Marijuana used is legalized in eight states, although the extent of regulation differs between States. Legalization may have helped decrease the total figure of arrests of marijuana users. Racial disparities are still evident according to a report by the Drug Alliance Policy; there was a decrease in the number of arrests amongst the blacks and Latinos. This, however, did not reduce the forces that contributed to differences in the use of marijuana among races. The troops included the over-policing of low-income neighborhoods and racial profiling (Carliner, Brown, Sarvet & Hasin,2017). The states that legalized marijuana regulated the places of consumption and areas where it could be grown.

An example is Alaska, which legalized marijuana use in 2015 but limited the amount of individual possession to an ounce of marijuana. Enforced laws stated that the amount of marijuana one could harvest in their homes was 4 ounces (Butler, 2009). Marijuana use was also restricted in public, as this was a serious criminal offense. After the legalization of marijuana in Alaska, the rates of arrest reduced significantly at similar rates among the whites and blacks. Research, however, points out that the prices of apprehension are higher among blacks than whites.

Racial Disparity On Arrests And Possession

Based on the research by The American Civil Liberties Union report, the blacks were more likely to abuse marijuana than the whites. It was estimated that blacks used marijuana 3.73 times more than white people. Black people are likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as compared to whites. Such racial differences exist in all countries, rural and urban areas inhabited by blacks and whites. Nearly all states with the least residents of blacks registered a higher rate of possession of the drug by blacks than whites. Data analysis of Alabama in 2018 showed that there were more arrests among black people for marijuana possession. The data obtained explained the differences in arrest despite the evidence of white and blacks using marijuana at almost the same rate. Research narrowed down to about 49% of drug selling was from the dark, but only 165 admitted to being drug sellers. Of those arrested, the approximate number accepting drug use was 13% ( Wang, Le Lait, Bronstein, Bajaj & Roosevelt,2016).

Racial Disparity On The Frequency Of Use

Well established research-based facts explained that the more crimes one committed increased their chances of arrest. Frequent marijuana users were more at risk for arrest than those that do not use marijuana. Regarding the frequency of use, racial disparity, black users were at a higher risk of being arrested (Wang, Le Lait, Bronstein, Bajaj & Roosevelt,2016). Despite most drug users denying using the drugs, it was evident that blacks frequently used marijuana as compared to the white people.

Racial Disparity According To The Place Of Use

Law enforcement that pertains to drugs is largely used in populated urban areas. Regarding the site of application, racial disparity data shows that black drug users face a higher risk of arrest than whites. Large metropolitan areas are places that more than 50%of blacks live as compared to the less than 40% of the whites. Moreover, this metro area consists of a large number of black drug users as compared to whites.it it approximated that more than 40% of blacks in metropolitan areas use marijuana. This difference, however, does not exempt the whites living in this area from marijuana use ( Kendi, 2017). About 30% of the whites in these areas use marijuana.


This report tries to assess the baseline of impacts of commercializing the use of marijuana on the safety of the public drawing support from a variety of sources. The report mainly focuses on the issues affecting marijuana use in Colorado, which reflect a diverse environment in which the regulation of marijuana use and enforcement practices are taken seriously. The report argues that the decrease in marijuana use among whites is significantly higher as compared to blacks. It is approximated to a reduction of 51% compared to Americans whose reduction is 25%. Arrests rates among the Hispanics and whites are relatively similar, but that of blacks is three times higher than both races.

Cerda, M., Wall, M., Keyes, K. M., Galea, S., & Hasin, D. (2012). Medical marijuana laws in 50 states: investigating the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use, abuse, and dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence, 120(1-3), 22-27.

Marijuana is the most used substance in America, with percentages of use varying in different states. There is little known about the norms and customs of different communities on the use of the drug. Marijuana use abuse and independence are unclear, depending on age factors and racial differences. Test on the connection between the validation of medical marijuana and the use, and dependence was done. States that legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes had higher cases of marijuana use and independence. Countries that did not implement laws on marijuana use is did not experience the issues. Marijuana dependence was more dominant among states that legalized it. Higher rates of addiction were accounted for by the histandardses of use. Researches of the future need to detail whether the association between the legalization of marijuana and independence was the drug were casual or instead associated with norms and customs supporting the use of marijuana.

Keyes, K. M., Vo, T., Wall, M. M., Caetano, R., Suglia, S. F., Martins, S. S., ... & Hasin, D. (2015). Racial/ethnic differences in the use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana: Is there a cross-over from adolescence to adulthood?. Social Science & Medicine, 124, 132-141.

Black adolescents in America are unlikely to use marijuana compared with non-Hispanic Whites, but the consistency of the ethnic disparities in marijuana use is unknown. Understanding marijuana use among youth is essential in implementing prevention and intervention policies. Racial tested differences in marijuana use across all ages proved that there were significant racial differences in marijuana use. White women were less likely to use marijuana as compared to black women. There was a considerable difference between age-related marijuana uses, as shown by the data collected.

Benjamin Mueller, May 13, 2018

Despite the surveys that people from all races smoke at similar rates, white people don't mainly get arrested for it.blacks and Hispanics are the primary victims of arrest with the arrests of blacks being more than that of Hispanics. Police reports explained that people called 911 to report marijuana smoke in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. The report used evidence from lawyers, police officers, court recordings of those arraigned from marijuana use, and drug reform advocates to come up with a conclusion about the issue. The police department started to explain marijuana arrests only recently, with the city council being deferential to top commanders and police officers. Minor crimes enforced provided closure for a severe disorder. The department of police resorted to making fewer low-level arrests. Press release of by the city council famed the legalization of marijuana as a serious issue of racial justice blaming the states that considered such measures. Reports showed that other countries stopped arresting marijuana users. This links the fact that marijuana legalization increases the use of the drug by the citizens.

The findings of the research linked with police explanations confirmed that the rate at which people called to complain about marijuana was higher among the residential areas of blacks and Hispanics. Some experts argued that blacks and Hispanic suburban regions police officers. In privately-owned Upper East Side apartments, people are allowed to call estate managers to deal with marijuana smoking hence less police involvement. Test on racial composition and violent crime rates was done to understand tstandardses of arrests among races on marijuana use. Statistical data provided by police helped in the research. From the data comparing the prices of marijuana calls, the areas with more arrest rates were mainly those of the blacks. Police argued that the residential areas of blacks evidenced more crime rates, hence the deployment of more officers to such areas. Recently passed laws required the cops to maintaining accurate data of arrest rates, but the police have yet to implement it. some state officials argue that they are however to determine where they stand on the legalization law of marijuana

Wu, L. T., Blazer, D. G., Swartz, M. S., Burchett, B., Brady, K. T., & Workgroup, N. A. (2013). Illicit and nonmedical drug use among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and mixed-race individuals. Drug and alcohol dependence, 133(2), 360-367.

The ethnic structure of America is shifting rapidly, with racial groups such as non-Hispanics and Asian Americans proliferating. New drug estimates were performed on these groups in comparison to the whites. According to this report, marijuana use increased significantly among the whites while that of rising racial groups remained constant. Marijuana use was also more prevalent among p...

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Racial Disparity in Marijuana Use in America - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/racial-disparity-in-marijuana-use-in-america-essay-sample

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