Any Whites Nabbed for Pot Possession?
Research of Milwaukee County cases show whites rarely arrested.
The issue becomes all the more critical for second offense possession, which is still a felony in Wisconsin, even as some states have legalized marijuana.
With that in mind, the Wisconsin Justice Initiative has spent hours examining Circuit Court files to find who gets busted for second offense marijuana possession, where they get busted, and what happens to them.
Note, we are looking at only those cases where the defendant was charged ONLY with possession of marijuana, second offense (or greater). We are not including any case where there were other charges involved.
So far we have researched 30 cases and you can find a description of each case here on The Pot Page, where we do periodic updates.
As for how the numbers break down so far, the arrests overwhelmingly involve African American men. Just two of the 30 Milwaukee County felony marijuana possession cases we’ve researched thus far involved white defendants.
Thus, 28 cases — about 94 percent — involved non-white defendants. Just two were Hispanic, while 26 involved African Americans. And all 26 of those cases involved men.
The pattern is pretty clear: So far, 26 of 30 cases, or 87 percent, were arrests made in the city. And of those 26 cases, 88 percent (or 23 cases) were arrests made north of I-94. Pot possession second offense appears to be a charge that overwhelmingly targets black men.
Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.