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Mississippi does not apply marijuana decriminalization equally

Mississippi does not generally have a reputation as a politically or socially progressive state, but it is one of the states that has decriminalized carrying small amounts of marijuana. This may come as a surprise to many people who view the war on drugs as racially motivated, especially considering Mississippi's complex history of racial injustice.

Nevertheless, Mississippi is one of more than 20 states that do not require police to issue criminal charges for possessing a certain amount of marijuana. It allows police to hand out a simple fine instead.

Unfortunately, there is some research that suggests that this flexibility is not applied equally to everyone whom the police allege they caught carrying the drug. Although studies indicate that both white suspects and suspects of color use marijuana at roughly equivalent rates, suspects of color face criminal charges for marijuana possession almost four times as often as white suspects do.

The implementation of this law regarding marijuana leaves something to be desired. It does not reflect well on our state that some populations are much more likely to face criminal charges for an act that does not necessitate them.

If you believe that you are facing unfair drug charges, do not wait to reach out to an attorney. Your rights are precious, and deserve to be protected. Unfortunately, as in many parts of life, your best chance at receiving fair treatment is standing up and fighting for it. An experienced attorney can help you review the specifics of your arrest and build a strong defense to help you seek the justice you deserve.

Source: Marijuana Policy Project, "Did you know Mississippi is a “decrim” state?," accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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