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ACLU: Marijuana arrests in SC racially biased

COLUMBIA (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says black people in South Carolina are arrested for marijuana possession at a higher rate than white people.

The ACLU says in a report released Tuesday that the state’s blacks represented just over 28 percent of South Carolina’s population in 2010 but were more than 53 percent of the state’s marijuana possession arrests.

Despite comparable marijuana usage rates, blacks in South Carolina were arrested for marijuana possession at 2.8 times the rate of whites that year.

Statewide, marijuana possession rates accounted for more than 53 percent of all 2010 drug arrests. The South Carolina counties with the largest racial disparity in marijuana possession arrests were Spartanburg, Anderson, Oconee, Newberry and Richland.

The ACLU used federal crime statistics and U.S. Census data for the report.

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