Does Racism Really Cause More Black Drug Arrests?


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Black people and white people smoke the same amount of pot. But black people are arrested four times more often.

Everybody knows that. Too bad it’s not true.

This Holy Grail of Critical Race Theory was trotted out in June by the Washington Post (with nine charts!), the New York Times, the ACLU and tons of others as proof positive of Institutional Racism.

Critical Race Theory says racism is everywhere. And permanent. And White Supremacy is responsible for the differences among races in education, incarceration, income, health and everything else.

They teach it in more than 200 school districts across the country. They repeat it on talk radio and MSNBC. Colleges devote entire semesters to it.

The message is clear, says one commentator at the Washington Post web site: “When you see the crime report next time, you know WHY the stats are black. Crime occurs at the same or higher rates in other communities, but the policing and prosecution is higher in the black communities.”

As I write this, a white Critical Race Theory professor from LaSalle University is saying the same thing on the black Philadelphia radio station, WURD. The host, Nick Taliafero, is rolling in it like catnip and congratulating the professor for his superior insight into white racism.

But before we open the prison doors, let’s ask two questions:

How do the professors and big city newspapers know that blacks and whites smoke pot at the same rate? A federal agency told them.

How do they know?

They ask. They do not test, just ask. And they assemble their answers every year in a report called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and Health.

The buzz word for this kind of research is “self-reporting.” And as you might guess, this research is itself the subject of a lot of research. And a lot of scientists have found that self-reporting on drug use is not reliable. Especially for one particular group of people: African Americans.

Let’s put aside for a moment the incredible disparity of crime rates among races. Rates of murder, assault, and theft are 300 to 800 percent higher among blacks. The most ardent Critical Race Theorists may excuse that, but even they cannot dispute it.

Let’s just focus on drugs.

According to the medical journal Addictive Behaviors, “underreporting of cocaine was documented with urine testing validation as well where African Americans in comparison to Caucasians who were urine positive were about 6 times less likely to report cocaine use when other factors are controlled for.”

Down at Johns Hopkins, they tested self-reporting of marijuana use among African Americans: “A study of 290 African American men in Baltimore, Maryland undergoing treatment for hypertension showed that self-reporting of illicit drug use is unreliable. Only 48 of the participants reported drug use but urine drug tests revealed that 131 had used drugs. “

Anyone who has ever done one nano-second of public opinion research of any kind knows this: You don’t ask. You check.

If you want to know if you are talking to a Democrat, look at the registration. If you want to know if they voted in 4 of the last 5 elections, don’t ask. Look.

A recent study that found that if you ask people how often they go to church, they lie. They actually checked and found people said they went to church twice as often as they really did.

The ministers knew their churches would be full if everyone were as devout as they said. But their churches were empty.

Cops know about drug abuse the same way. Find one and ask about different rates of drug use among different racial groups. Like the ministers, they know the difference between what people say and what they see in the pews. The streets.

And now the Washington Post, New York Times, and every wannabe Rachel Maddow want us to accept self-reported drug use as gospel?

And open the prison doors because of this faith-based initiative?

You have to wonder what they have been smoking.

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  • Andy_Lewis


    This been another in the series Simple Answers to Really Easy Questions.

    • ColinFlaherty

      you would think so, wouldn’t you?

  • Jeff McBride

    Black , White , Green or Purple – What difference does it make if people are doing illegal drugs. ?? Sad to say but a lot of drug users are on Welfare. Tell them ‘ Stay Clean ‘ or lose payments. (Test THEM)

  • glennd1

    There are other factors that contribute to greater enforcement in higher crime neighborhoods, which blacks typically live in. Instead of going into the woods to smoke a joint like me and my friends did as teens, they are doing it on the street which is two crimes in one – public use and possession. Also, due to the higher crime rates, police presence is higher. If more blacks get arrested or are frisked – the likelihood of getting popped is higher.

    • ColinFlaherty

      making something up, no matter how reasonable it sounds, is not the same as having the facts. sorry.

  • alericKong

    Look at the illiteracy rate, or number of illegitimate children. I fail to see how racism stops adults from taking one month to learn how to read, or to stop fathering 10 children with 5 different wives.

    I wonder if these race baiters ever lived in poor black American neighborhoods. If they did, they will see awful behavior which would embarass anyone.

    • condaggitt

      Just make them sit in class 25 hours a week and learn to read,write and speak ENGLISH to get their EBT card… half will quit the first month!

      • EarlyBird

        Gee, can we wallow in negative black stereotypes any more than this?

        • condaggitt

          Well if they speak English, then there is no problem collecting welfare………. RIGHT?

          • EarlyBird

            Yeah. Because all blacks are uneducated, all speak some type of inner-city “Ebonics,” are illiterate, dope users, lazy and on welfare. RIGHT?

          • condaggitt

            Again those that do will be booted out……

          • Abort Leftists

            Pretty much.

          • KHilde

            Well … not “all”, but “most”. Certainly “a majority of”, meaning, 50.1% plus, of the group.

            So in that sense, you hit the nail on the head.

        • alericKong

          Sterotypes involve applying characteristics of groups unjustly to an individual.

          What I am doing is using group statisitics, like 40% adult illiteracy rate in Detroit, to counter other group statistics.

          You’ve also missed the point, which is the people with high arrest rates also have high rates of awful performance in skills needed to thrive in modern society, like reading or strong families.

          • EarlyBird

            I was referring to Condaggit. I agree: there’s a reason that a stereotype exists of low achieving, high-crime black Americans. Unfortunately, that stereotype, that profile, has been earned.

            But Condaggit is just being an ass throughout this thread.

        • T

          You’re ignoring the rest of what’s being said here, aren’t you?

      • KHilde

        Blacks do speak English. A variant called “Ebonics”. And so, they are wholly eligible for any and all types of taxpayer-funded “assistance”. And fully take advantage of the fact…

        • condaggit

          Yes KHilde they do and that’s the problem, we get nothing back for all the money we spend. If they can’t speak English they wont be able to get jobs and get off assistance.

          So a WAR on Ebonics is needed to force black people to speak English and end dependency.

    • autdrew


  • Sheik Yerbouti

    Maybe they get caught more because they are stupid about it. Why is that concept so hard to understand?

    • condaggitt

      I think you got it they stand on the corner far more then whites just begging the police to arrest them…..hmmm no studies have been done on that idea.

      • Sheik Yerbouti

        I remember when they used to run around with price tags hanging off of their clothing just daring anyone to say something. Embracing and glorifying criminality is common in their culture right down to their music. And we are to wonder why they get in trouble more than everyone else?

  • CowboyUp

    The Man is racist and neglecting the “Black community,” if they don’t try to clean up high crime neighborhoods, and racist and persecuting the “Black community,” when they do. Race pimps depend on grievances to make a living, so they’ll never lack them and will never be satisfied. Trying to please them is a futile waste of time and money.

    One of Cynthia McKinney’s (D-GA, at the time – today Hank “Guam” Thompson’s district) objections to consumption taxes replacing income taxes was that it would hit street hustlers in the “underground economy” disproportionately, a high percentage of whom she said were Black. They race pimps aren’t stupid, they’re playing the rest of us.

  • EarlyBird

    More black people get prosecuted for pot use than whites because there is more policing of black neighborhoods. There is more policing of black neighborhoods because there is more crime committed in black neighborhoods. Those are just cold hard facts.

    So the greater black person-cop contact increases the chance that a black person with pot on him is going to be arrested.

    • 1proactive2

      Wrong again. In DIEtroit, Michigan, for example, police had long ago ended patrolling in large portions of the cities due to lack of staff. The same police department issued a statement last year saying that the city is now just too dangerous to enter. DIEtroit can’t even keep mayors or council members long since they eventually end up in prison.

      • EarlyBird

        So you are saying that because one major city – Detroit – is in such bad financial shape that it has abandoned high/crime black neighborhoods, that somehow undermines my general point about what happens nationally?

        That’s like me stating that more rabbits are killed by wolves than other predators, and you saying I’m wrong (“again”) because there are no wolves in New York City. Your point is a non-sequitor.

      • T

        I agree with most of what you’re saying, but the part about the police issuing that statement: I read that it was a political ploy to get more help.

        • 1proactive2

          You could be correct. From my decades working with criminals in various cities in Michigan, those places with Democratic governing bodies, to include mayors, will readily use city employees to their advantage by laying them off with the song that they can’t afford them. In this very blue state, the money then usually comes rolling in from state coffers.

          Of course, the local political potentates, without letup, still drove their city cars, and traveled to various functions across the country, all in the name of fact-finding and the ubiquitous “meetings” with other tinpot mayors.

          Detroit was notorious for this while it sustained a steady slide into third world status, but they went one better. Their borderline illiterate council members, and legions of city bureaucrats who did next to nothing in the way of work, traveled to other countries, especially in the Caribbean, for more “fact-finding”. Think of it this way; it’s a high-schooler given a free credit card to party on some beach all the while staying in first class hotels, and drinking themselves senseless. DIEtroit’s mayor who started the city’s decay, Coleman Young, loved to take his hangers-on and lackeys down to Jamaica.

          The black voters of DIEtroit didn’t care because their mayor was “very black” (look up the urban definition), and he was “stickin’ it to the white man”. There was also the payback benefit as the black voters saw it. Of course, they also believed they were entitled to the windfall largess, and to them it was racist to question their lavish spending.

    • ColinFlaherty

      why do people make stuff up?

      • EarlyBird

        What stuff, Colin? I don’t get your post.

        • ColinFlaherty

          The article says this: Everything we think we know about why more black people are arrested for pot is not true.

          • glennd1

            No, the article makes an analysis and argument, with evidence, that you don’t “like” for some reason. You can disagree, you can offer counter-factuals and alternate reasoning. But you don’t bother, instead you act like a 9 year old who didn’t get what she wanted and tell us all that this stuff is all made up. You are a joke.

          • ColinFlaherty

            you know i wrote the article, right?

  • 1proactive2

    Critical Race Theory is yet another in a long line of leftist fantasies created in an effort to (again) legitimize black barbarism, and to displace personal responsibility.

    In the course of my decades-long career I’ve evaluated and counseled literally hundreds of black and white felons, and the ultimate reason they commit crimes is because they want to, it feels good, it’s profitable, it excites them, and they feel powerful. The idea that some white guy is lurking around some corner to sabotage a black person’s efforts at self-improvement is fantasy reasoning worthy of Disney.

    Most all criminals share a common denominator, and it is that they function at a pre-adolescent level of reasoning. As an adult, try living at the emotional age of 8 through 12 (inclusive) where you make decisions on emotions as opposed to thought. That is the cognitive map of the street felon, and blacks make up the vast majority of this population.

    Then there is the absence of a conscience which is also a neurological deficiency common among those that lack empathy, see also, “evil”. In the corrupt world of political correctness, this construct is not allowed in discussions on race since, again, blacks dominate in this area.

    This newest gambit at legitimizing black crime through convoluted (and hilariously tragic) reasoning will only further perpetuate the misery and deaths in black communities. Let the bodies hit the floor.

    • EarlyBird

      Though I agree that political correctness and our dysfuctional “national discuss on race” ends up hurting the many minorities we’re supposed to be helping, including mostly African-Americans, I don’t think we’re talking about “barbarism” or major street crimes here. The issue at hand is smoking pot.

      • Marlin B. Newburn

        I’m a forensic psychologist, clinical.

        Drug use and felons go hand in hand.

        You reminded me of another black pattern of illegal drug use. Blacks smoke dope openly, in public as well as in privacy, and they sell it in the same way. Remember, open displays of anti-social behavior is prized in the ghetto, and doin’ a blunt on the corner is as common as orange soda and pig skins.

        As for your other remark on “helping” minorities, we’ve now “helped” many them to death, let alone enough. At least I’m sick and tired of it. Government parenting is part of the problem, a huge part. Cut them (and other social parasites) off the government tit – permanently.

        Tax money finances black ghetto lifestyles, and the excuses for the barbarism (there I go again) just keep on comin’. Perpetual excuse-making, displacing blame, removing responsibility, and financing of corrupt living only infantilizes a people. And blacks, as a group, think and behave like children, just like the slave owners of the antebellum south described them.

      • 1proactive2

        In ghettos the street black who best flaunts anti-social behavior of any kind gains cred, and this includes smoking a blunt in public. Doin’ a blunt is the same as simply smoking a cigarette. Then again, marijuana in the ghetto is part of the lifestyle.

        As far as “helping” minorities, I’ve more than had my fill of financing, through my tax dollars, a corrupt system that infantilizes people, and supports their predator and addiction lifestyles. If you really want to help, work at ending SSI payments and other handouts to include benefits other than cash. For over 40 years blacks have been given hiring preferences, preferences in school admissions, promotions based on their race, and lowered standards for civil service employment. Look where it has gotten the taxpayers for all this helping kindness.

      • soundnfury

        That’s like saying that most criminals hold their “piece” in the right hand, but most pot smokers hold their blunt in the left. The last I checked, most of these characters have two hands, but one body.

    • EarlyBird

      By the way, what kind of work do you do?

      • 1proactive2

        I’m a forensic psychologist, clinical.
        This reply was deleted by the moderator previously. Wonder why.

    • EarlyBird

      I can’t respond to your post below because its “awaiting moderation.”
      I find your work fascinating.

      I agree 100% with your assessment that we’ve “helped” minorities to death. It all started with utopian Great Society plans. Check out Myron Magnet’s book “The Dream and the Nightmare” which discusses this entire thing in detail and how it’s done more to harm those it intended to help anything else.

      • 1proactive2

        I used the phrase, “government t**” as opposed to “breast”.

    • Bryan Schmick

      Loved the 3rd paragraph on how most criminals function on emotions vs thought (paraphrased). Wasn’t that the thought process used by supporters of the recent gun control bill. Instead of tackling the root problem of mentally disturbed individuals roaming the streets, they produced a bill that would have had minimal effect on the type of crime it was supposed to stop future occurrences of, but it felt good. Does that mean our Democrat Senators equate to criminals living at the emotional age of 8-12? Same thing with Obamacare, rather than tackling the high cost of insurance, they decided to force insurance on everyone. Same thing with raising the minimum wage and putting people out of work. It all feels good. The results don’t matter, as long as it was done with good intentions.

      • 1proactive2

        You’re on to something there.

        The Democratic senators know their serfs vote for them and support them as long as the former delivers a strong emotional message to get what they want.

        Today it defies all reason and logic to be an adult Democrat.
        Pardon the blanket statement, but Democrats are like children with adult prerogatives, and they’ll vote for the liberal politician with the most emotionally- laden message. Warm and fuzzy = good, personal responsibility = bad.

  • Melinda Craig

    This is so stupid, why would white people or law enforcement want more blacks in prison ? Just for smoking mary jane? This is so stupid, no white should want any black to get arrested only for smoking pot , why? because that is a huge financial burden on the taxpayer. one problem they do not want to face up to is the fact that many crimes are committed by thugs. criminals are more likely to be smoking pot and doing other crimes HELLO iT seems the media will stop at nothing to give blacks a reason to hate whites and then vice versa

  • Bryan Schmick

    The article states that 48% of 290 African American self reported drug use but a urine test showed 131 actually had. A little math here: 48% of 290 is 139. So the supporting proof of under-reporting is that there was a tiny (8 out of 290) over reporting.

    • ColinFlaherty

      go back and read that section one more time.

      • Bryan Schmick

        My bad

        • ColinFlaherty


  • Eric Blake

    Another reason for the crime statistics is that young black men are very bold about their crimes. When I lived in Seattle I would watch black teenager sell drugs walking down the busy sidewalk in the middle of the day. They didn’t care about being caught. I also watched many people smoke crack at a bus stop one block from the police headquarters. Most white people try to be discreet with their drug activity

  • tagalog

    If black people and white people smoke the same amount of pot, and whites form about 75% of the population while blacks constitute about 20% of the population, then blacks are smoking a hell of a lot more pot per capita than white people, and it’s no wonder they get caught more often.

  • ColinFlaherty

    that is the point of the bogus claim: the use the same amount of drugs, yet blacks are arrested more often.

  • sam

    The problem with the “pot” claims of the racists:

    First off, anyone who lives in the real world knows that waaay more blacks smoke marijuana per capita. That is evidenced by going to school with them, living in the same apt buildings as them, seeing them on the street, and let’s not disregard blac “music” as a piece of evidence… To say blacks and whites smoke the same amount of weed per capita is like saying they do the same amount of LSD per capita.. white people I’m sure do more LSD per capita.

    Secondly, regardless of how many people per capita do it, that says nothing about the rate of USAGE. It seems like blacks on average smoke it every day. that will also effect their arrests..

    Thirdly, and possibly most importantly, blacks do it BLATANTLY. They don’t put a towel under the door, they don’t use poofalaters. Theu smoke it outside in broad daylight. They smoke it in CARS openly. And on top of that, theu will add MORE behavior that draws attention, like recklessness, dui, LOUD music, tinted windows, etc… And then get pulled over and say “Racial profiling”.

    black people disgust me with the amount of weed they smoke, the wasteful and foul smelling methods theu use smike it

  • KHilde

    I was doing some research on marijuana use amongst the different races, and stumbled onto this.

    Seems to be just another reinforcing anecdote pointing to the truism … that U.S. blacks tend to lie most, when compared to other groups in the U.S.

    And coincidentally enough, we soon enough will have had 8 full years of … Obama … as the biggest & best anecdotal evidence of the truism.

    Of course, the fact that blacks lie is … Whitey’s fault. “They were slaves! They had to lie, just to survive! It’s part of their culture, thanks to Whitey!”.

    Let’s see, asking a black born in, say, 1979, to “self-report” … leads to lies … for a black who would be 34 or so … and who had personally experienced … how much slavery in his lifetime?

    Ah, well, one thing is true. Lying is part & parcel of black culture.

  • Reverend Bacon

    Colin- you are very cop-connected, and many of the men and women in blue have contributed material to you over the years. So here’s my take- you can ask your cop buddies if I am correct.

    Many of the anti-racists and CRT people cite marijuana convictions- often for USE, not SALE- as an example of racism. Whites aren’t prosecuted for it, blacks are, they say. And, they say, it’s ridiculous to put someone in jail for smoking dope.

    What they often miss, and I’ve seen some evidence of this, is that a pot conviction is often what remains after the plea bargain. “We’ll toss the felon in possession of a gun, and the felony assault, and the GTA, if you plead to possession of pot.” Of course, that’s probably an exaggeration, but I’ve seen and heard of stuff like that. Comparing the white kid with a first offense of marijuana possession to a guy like the above is like comparing apples to nuclear warheads. All those “victims” rotting in jail for marijuana are violent offenders who plea-bargained, and many times it was because (in California, at least) they didn’t want to give the “victim” a third strike. But don’t believe me, ask around.


    • ColinFlaherty


  • Joe Erato

    I think it is all too possible that even if whites and blacks are using at the same rate. Police coverage in trouble neighborhoods (predominantly black) is higher resulting in more arrests or fines on smaller charges than areas that police cover less.