Racial disparities in marijuana arrests increase in Texas despite overall decline as more cities seek to decriminalize marijuana in the state.

Center for Justice Research director Howard Henderson is a criminologist at Texas Southern University and studies inequities in the justice system.

“The war on drugs targeted Black and brown people and that approach did not make our society safer,” Henderson said.

He says the center found even in cities where marijuana is decriminalized, racial disparities remain and the biggest reason for this is enforcement. So without legalization, the problem will persist.

“Because marijuana was one of the key drivers behind mass incarceration, I think we have an obvious approach that we need to take to reduce that harm going forward,” he said.

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