Black people disproportionately represent those arrested and sentenced to prison for drug offenses. I have run into people who cannot explain this phenomenon. Instead of seeing the racial discrimination that runs drudeep in the criminal system, they claim that Blacks are incarcerated for drug offenses more than whites because they use drugs more. What a ridiculous statement.


If you find yourself in this situation and need some facts to backup your inevitable argument with this person, here are five cold hard stats from reputable sources that will bring your opponent to shame.

1. According to a study conduced by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, drug use amongst Blacks and Whites is very similar. For example, 46 percent of Whites compared to 40 percent of Blacks have ever used marijuana. However, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that Blacks are four times more likely than Whites to be arrested for marijuana.

2. African American drug offenders have a 20 percent greater chance of being sentenced to prison than White drug offenders. – The Sentencing Project

3. African Americans represent 12 percent of the total population of drug users, but 38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59 percent of those in state prison for a drug offense. – NAACP

4. African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as Whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). – The Sentencing Project

5.  Between 1994 and 2003, the average time served by African Americans for a drug offense increased by 77 percent, compared to an increase of 28 percent for White drug offenders. – The Sentencing Project

So unleash these facts and fight the false assumptions next time someone tries it.

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