New Orleans’ new marijuana law purports to be more lenient toward nonviolent offenders, but — unsurprisingly — it still disproportionately targets the Black community.
Susan Guidry, councilwoman and chairperson of the Criminal Justice Committee, wrote the law with the intention of redirecting the police’s attention to heavier crimes and reducing the jail population of nonviolent offenders. To ensure that the law is being used fairly by police, Guidry emphasizes the need to document all summons. Even with acknowledging the potential for unfair execution, more than 80 percent of arrests are of Black people, despite New Orleans’ Black population being 58 percent.
This ABS original sheds light on how the Black community is affected by this new law.