Baltimore Ends Prosecuting Marijuana Cases
More than 90 percent of cases were against Blacks.
Marilyn Mosby, the state's attorney for Baltimore, said on Tuesday that she would stop prosecuting marijuana possession cases regardless of quantity or prior criminal record.
Mosby also urged state legislators to support a bill allowing her to vacate almost 5,000 criminal convictions, including corrupt police cases.
"For far too long, we have sat back and watched certain communities and families destroyed by failed policies of the so-called 'War on Drugs.' The effects of these failed policies have been especially dire for cities like Baltimore, where for decades, we've criminalized what is now nationally considered a public health crisis. The statistics are damning when it comes to the disproportionate impact that the war on drugs has had on communities of color," Mosby said.
More than 90 percent of the citations for low-level possession between 2015 and 2017 were issued to Blacks.
Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, according to the ACLU.
Mosby also said there is "no link" between marijuana possession and violent crime, and that the 10 states (plus D.C.) that have legalized adult recreational use have not seen an increase in violence as a result.
"When I ask myself, 'Is the enforcement and prosecution of marijuana possession making us safer as a city?' the answer is emphatically no. There is no public safety value in prosecuting marijuana possession."
Under Mosby's plan, first time offenders of felony distribution will be automatically referred to a diversion program designed to promote job readiness. If they complete It, their cases can be expunged.
Elimination of records can make the difference between earning a living and poverty and crime.
In Baltimore, nearly a quarter of all residents live below the poverty level. Close to 30 percent of the Black population live in poverty, higher than every other race. There are over 36,000 people in prisons in the state and 68 percent are Black.
"It was not a war on drugs, but a war on Black people, a war on brown people, a war on poor people," said neighborhood activist Dayvon Love, of the group Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. "Think about all the generations that have been lost."
Mosby marijuana decision puts her at odds with BPD www.youtube.com
Ana Alvarez, a substitute teacher, asked the student why he continues to live in the U.S., "if it's so bad here."
"I am the descendant of African slaves. I am the descendant of Indigenous people. I am the descendant of Spanish colonizers," explained Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an MSNBC interview.
Conversations around race and ethnicity have been prominent in the media because of the onslaught of diverse newly elected public officials. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is one of them. In an interview on MSNBC, she addressed her heritage with respect to her race.
Family and friends said the apology was insulting, and that Timothy Caughman's death was their "life sentence."
James Jackson, 30, a white supremacist, killed Timothy Caughman, 66, a Black man with a sword. Jackson was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
His apology: "I just wanted to apologize to everyone who has been negatively affected by this horrible and unnecessary tragedy. If I could do it all over again, this never would have happened."
Caughman's friends dismissed the apology, as fake.
Black students are more likely to borrow, less able to make progress on paying down their loans, and almost half defaulted on their school loans. Many do not graduate. Now 34 seniors can.
Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., decided to clear the debt of 34 Howard students.
95 percent of Howard students are on financial aid. About 4,000 church members fasted and prayed for 30 days, saving money to donate to something charitable.
They donated $100,000 to 34 students.
Disability rights advocates urged Major League Baseball to rename the roster designation for players recovering from injury.
Major League Baseball is renaming its league-wide medical database from the commonly known "Disabled List" to the "Injured List".
"The principal concern is that using the term 'Disabled' for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports," explained Jeff Pfeifer, Major League Baseball's Senior Director of League Economics and Operations, informing the league's teams in a December memo that was obtained by ESPN.
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The community is holding Roosevelt School District accountable.
Noose images labeled "Back to school necklaces" were found at Roosevelt Middle School in Long Island, N.Y. The school district is investigating.