Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton all acknowledge illicit marijuana use in their younger years. Of the three, who do you suppose was most at risk for arrest and all of the associated negative consequences, including truncating his political aspirations?
To most Americans, the answer is clear: the black guy, of course. For those for whom the answer is less obvious, consider a recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union showing that black people are two to over seven times more likely to be arrested for pot possession than their white counterparts, despite the fact that both groups use marijuana at similar rates. These disparities held up even when researchers controlled for household income. It’s about race, not class.