Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pot Possession Citations Must Be Issued Fairly

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pot Possession Citations Must Be Issued Fairly

Article excerpt

Black juveniles sell and use drugs at roughly the same rates as their white counterparts, but they are more likely to do so in the streets rather than behind closed doors and in neighborhoods classified as "drug-free zones," where punishment is harsher.

In Pittsburgh, black males are charged with minor possessory offenses five times more often than whites.

Although recreational use of marijuana is legal in four states, the Pittsburgh Justice Collaborative is not advocating recreational use.

The Pittsburgh Justice Collaborative believes that the approach of dealing with marijuana usage as a crime is wrong ("Pittsburgh Decriminalizes Pot Possession," Dec. 22). The PJCbelieves that drug abuse is a public health issue and should be treated as such. It is for this reason that we support harm reduction strategies and arrest diversion programs, such as Law Enforcement AssistedDiversion (LEAD), as the answer. …

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