Marijuana has become the drug of choice for police departments nationwide — a trend that is playing out with serious consequences here in Brown County.
According to a new report released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, police have turned much of their zeal for fighting the failed War on Drugs toward the enforcement of marijuana laws in communities across Wisconsin and the country.
In 2010, cops in Wisconsin busted someone for having marijuana once every 28 minutes. The majority of these arrests are happening in communities of color. Despite roughly comparable usage rates, blacks in Wisconsin are nearly six times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
These racial disparities are particularly bad in Brown County. Compared to other Wisconsin counties with more than 300,000 residents, in 2010 Brown had the third-highest rate of racial disparity for marijuana possession arrests.
Black people in Brown County are more than seven times more likely than whites to be arrested for the same offense — even though blacks constitute only 2.2 percent of Brown County’s population.READ MORE