Los cargos por posesión de drogas y las detenciones se redujeron tras la legalización del cannabis, pero las comunidades racializadas siguen siendo un objetivo desproporcionado del sistema jurídico penal. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.
By Rachel Browne / Vice News
While it is clear that Black and Indigenous people have long been disproportionately arrested for drug possession across North America, a VICE World News investigation has compiled one of the first datasets of its kind that shows the extent to which it is happening in Canada.
Through Freedom of Information requests to police services, VICE World News has compiled national non-cannabis drug possession arrest data broken down by race, something that does not yet exist publicly in Canada. This dataset follows VICE’s 2018 investigation into arrests specifically for cannabis possession, which also revealed stark racial disparities. While the number of drug possession charges and arrests in Canada has declined even further since then, after cannabis was fully legalized in 2018, Black and Indigenous people are still much more likely to be arrested for drug possession—with Indigenous people eight times more likely to be arrested than white people in one major city.
The data was shared for review and analysis with University of Toronto criminologists Akwasi Owusu-Bempah and Alex Luscombe. The race-based police data was compared against the population totals for each demographic of the particular city using Statistics Canada’s census metropolitan data.
“The findings here provide further evidence of the harms of the war on drugs,” Owusu-Bempah said in an interview. “Racial profiling and the targeting of specific racial groups for law enforcement generally, and drug law enforcement in particular, have resulted in these disparities.”