'Criminal Injustice' Report Charts Cannabis Impact On Policing Practices

Criminal Injustice, a four-part study by the Last Prisoner Project, details the history of U.S. marijuana prohibition and charts the impact it has had on the growth and evolution of America's criminal justice system.

Each piece in the series focuses on a different part of the system: policing, the courts, jails, prisons, and noncarceral penal operations, as well as the collateral consequences of a cannabis conviction. 

The first piece in the series, The Policing of Marijuana Prohibition, was released a few days ago. It focuses on the ways American cannabis policy has worked to transform the philosophy, aims, and policing practices of U.S. law enforcement agencies.

“When we started this project, we of course suspected cannabis prohibition — and the racially biased policing of those laws — played a role in perpetuating many of the social injustices and racial inequities currently playing out on the national stage. But we were surprised to discover just how much cannabis policy has animated and exacerbated these issues,” the Last Prisoner Project’s executive director Sarah Gersten told Benzinga. “It's been truly shocking to unpack the many ways our modern-day ‘War on Weed’ has shaped the philosophy, aims, and policing practices of American law enforcement agencies.”


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