Many states, even those which haven’t yet legalized cannabis for adult use, have recognized the need to address the massive, historical and ongoing disparities in drug law enforcement. Over decades, these disparities have contributed to the United States becoming the world’s largest jailer, a country not just of mass incarceration but of the hyper-incarceration of people of color specifically.
More recently, these disparities have been touchstones for progressive critiques of the criminal legal system and of drug policy. Marijuana legalization efforts are regularly framed as social justice measures aimed at redressing these inequalities and their many harms. As are moves to decriminalize ...
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