Morning Report: Minorities Still Arrested for Marijuana at Higher Rates - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Minorities Still Arrested for Marijuana at Higher Rates

Jay Bowser, who mentors kids from disadvantaged communities, was prosecuted for a marijuana crime in 2007. He’s now campaigning for a cannabis equity proposal in San Diego. / Photo by Megan Wood

Arrests and citations for marijuana didn’t end when California legalized recreational marijuana use. 

The new law did, of course, mean a massive drop in marijuana-related crimes. But of those that remain – like possessing more than an ounce or smoking in public – big racial disparities still exist, reports VOSD’s Jesse Marx.

“About 30 percent of the city identifies as Hispanic or Latino, but Latinos made up nearly half of all juvenile citations for marijuana between January 2017 and October 2019. Black San Diegans represent 5.5 percent of the city’s population but accounted for 16 percent of all juvenile citations and 29 percent of all adult arrests,” Marx writes. “White residents, at the same time, represent 44 percent of the city, but accounted for 34 percent of adult arrests and 25 percent of juvenile citations.”

Disparities show up in other ways, too.

Data suggests that minorities are being shut out of the legal marijuana market. It’s why activists and some politicians, including City Councilman Chris Ward and Councilwoman Monica Montgomery, are exploring equity programs that would help minority business owners take advantage of the new market.

There are plenty of challenges ahead for those efforts, though, including land use regulations that restrict where marijuana businesses can set up shop.

Hunter, Out

Rep. Duncan Hunter will plead guilty Tuesday to one count of misusing campaign funds, he told KUSI

“I think it’s important not to have a public trial for three reasons, and those three reasons are my kids,” he said.

He also made clear he won’t run for re-election, but wasn’t clear on whether he’ll step down before his term ends.

“I’m confident that the transition” to a new representative “will be a good one,” Hunter said. 

Republicans Darrell Issa, Carl DeMaio and Brian Jones are running to replace Issa, as well as Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar. 

The plea change, of course, represents a major reversal for Hunter, who spent years denying any wrongdoing and who villainized the San Diego Union-Tribune, which consistently broke stories about his campaign finance spending.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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