A local law making marijuana offenses a low law-enforcement priority in Seattle has resulted in fewer drug arrests, but black residents are still being arrested in disproportionate numbers, according to a Jan. 8 story by Angela Galloway in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Overall, police and prosecutors less often pursue possession charges against both blacks and whites. But the proportion of those charged who are African-American has grown.
Although whites greatly outnumber black men and women in Seattle, authorities arrested and charged more African-Americans in 2006 on marijuana allegations, according to a report from the Marijuana Policy Review Panel, which is responsible for monitoring implementation of Initiative 75 (I-75), passed by Seattle voters in September, 2003. The panel recommended officials dig deeper into that data to determine what is causing the disparity.
No increases in crime, youth marijuana use, or other public-health consequences were seen as a result of the law, the report said.
Gary B. Cox, PhD, served as a consultant for the review; Dr. Cox was a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute before he retired. Roger Roffman, DSW, director of the UW Innovative Programs Research Group and a professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work, served on the panel.
"Make the Connection" is a new video to help parents and youth navigate the adolescent chemical dependency treatment system in Washington state. The 37-minute video, featuring interviews with parents, youth, and treatment providers, was produced in a partnership between Washington's Division of Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the national Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The video can be viewed online, and copies can be ordered at no cost from the Teenline at the URL below.