The United Kingdom Can Legalize Cannabis To Help Address Institutional Racism

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Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy no matter where it exists. It is often a form of institutional racism as well, which is often demonstrated in arrest statistics.

For instance, in the United States, African American individuals are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for cannabis compared to Caucasian individuals. There also seems to be a similar issue in the United Kingdom.

According to cannabis advocates lobbying lawmakers in the United Kingdom, cannabis prohibition has a disproportionate impact on Black people in the U.K. Per Independent:

One in five of those found guilty of cannabis possession in England and Wales last year was black, official figures show, prompting accusations of racial injustice at the heart of the UK’s drug laws.

Campaigners said the rate was grossly disproportionate when only an estimated 3 per cent of the population is black.

They also warned of a link between the convictions and the police stop and search policy, a central concern during the Black Lives Matter protests.

The math speaks for itself. Whenever a subpopulation only makes up 3 percent of the total population, yet is subjected to roughly 20 percent of public policy violation enforcement, it’s blatant institutional discrimination.

If the United Kingdom wants to address racial injustices in the U.K. then it clearly needs to address cannabis prohibition. If Canada and Uruguay can legalize cannabis for adult-use without any major issues then the United Kingdom should be able to do the same.

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