In 1913, California outlawed marijuana on the basis of express racial animus. The federal government prohibited marijuana in 1937 on a similar basis. We hypothesize that the racism behind marijuana prohibition influences current arrests. An analysis of data from 2000-2008 in California connects the racialized origins of marijuana prohibition to current marijuana arrests. Blacks and Hispanics are significantly more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana offense. We conclude that marijuana prohibition is too entangled with racism to be fairly enforced today. Evaluating selective-arrests, we show evidence of institutional racism regarding marijuana prohibition in California. We argue that a medical marijuana framework should replace prohibition, returning to the policy that existed prior the beginning of prohibition. Adapted from the source document.
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