Pubdate: Sun, 31 Oct 2010
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Hector Villagra
Page: A37, lead letter, boxed
Author: Hector Villagra


Re "Marijuana profiling," Editorial, Oct. 27

California has the chance to fix a broken system of marijuana laws
that disproportionally impact Latinos. I am disappointed that The
Times acknowledges this discrimination but still concludes that
Proposition 19 is not the answer.

Latinos are two to three times more likely to be arrested for
marijuana possession even though studies consistently find that young
Latinos use marijuana at lower rates than whites. Voting yes on
Proposition 19 is a vote to challenge this status quo.

Imagine how many violent crimes could be prevented if we freed up
public safety resources to focus on serious, violent offenses.
Proposition 19 would simply treat adult marijuana use like alcohol or
tobacco use. It would move us toward a more fair and effective
approach to drug laws. And Latinos have a stake in it passing.

Hector Villagra

Los Angeles

The writer is legal director for the ACLU of Southern California.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake