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California: Marijuana Enforcement Nearly 4 Times More Severe For Blacks

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Black and Latino Boys and Young Men at Particular Risk, Despite Similar Marijuana Use Rates Across Racial Lines

California to Vote on Removing Criminal Penalties and Legal Regulation of Marijuana This November

New data analyses conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance and ACLU of California find that racial disparities in marijuana policing have persisted, following the reduction of low-level marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction in 2011.

Possession of under an ounce of marijuana is punishable in California by a base fine up to $100 (plus substantial fees).

Despite marijuana usage rates being similar across racial and ethnic lines, data provided by the Los Angeles and Fresno Police Departments show that black and Latino people in those cities were issued marijuana possession citations at higher rates than white people in the years immediately following the penalty change from misdemeanor to infraction.

The data also reveal that marijuana possession enforcement falls mostly on young people. In both cities, the majority of infractions were issued to persons 29 years of age and younger.

California: Fresno Deputy Police Chief Arrested For Heroin, Oxycodone, Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The deputy police chief of Fresno, California, was arrested on Thursday and charged with multiple conspiracies to distribute heroin, oxycodone and marijuana, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Keith Foster, 51, was arrested along with three other Fresno residents, according to a statement from the FBI, reports Eric M. Johnson at Reuters.

Foster had always appeared just behind the police chief at press conferences.

"It is important that we do everything we can to maintain and enhance the trust that our citizens have in us," Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said in a "he must be kidding" kind of statement at a news conference after Deputy Chief Foster's arrest. "When things of this nature happen, it does serve to erode that trust," the Chief admitted.

"This is a very sad day for the Fresno Police Department, the citizens of Fresno, and the law enforcement profession," Chief Dyer said, report Rick Montanez, Corin Hoggard and Sontaya Rose at ABC 30.

Dyer claimed he was "just made aware" of the case" after Foster was arrested n Thursday. Federal investigators were authorized to use wiretaps on telephones.

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