Supporters of legalized marijuana light up at exactly 4:20 p.m. in Civic Center Park April 20, 2012, in Denver. 
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images
Supporters of legalized marijuana light up at exactly 4:20 p.m. in Civic Center Park April 20, 2012, in Denver. 
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Millions of people each year are arrested for marijuana possession, but a black person is 3.73 times as likely as a white person to be arrested for the same offense. That, says the American Civil Liberties Union, is a form of racial injustice.

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So, this week, the organization launched The Uncovery, an advocacy tool that lets users take their own local facts (in Pennsylvania, for example, the racial disparity is even more extreme, with black people 5.19 times as likely as whites to be arrested) and turn them into clear graphic messages like the ones below.

They’re visual representations of what the ACLU calls “The war on marijuana in black and white.”

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1. This first statistic isn’t too surprising.

Illustration for article titled Why Are Black People Nearly 4 Times as Likely to Be Arrested for Weed?

2. But every 37 seconds? Wow.

Illustration for article titled Why Are Black People Nearly 4 Times as Likely to Be Arrested for Weed?
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3. This is the important part. It’s not that black people use more marijuana than white people …

Illustration for article titled Why Are Black People Nearly 4 Times as Likely to Be Arrested for Weed?
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4. … It’s just that the consequences are worse when they do.

Illustration for article titled Why Are Black People Nearly 4 Times as Likely to Be Arrested for Weed?
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5. In some parts of the country, the difference is even more dramatic.

Illustration for article titled Why Are Black People Nearly 4 Times as Likely to Be Arrested for Weed?
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6. And, according to the ACLU, these disparities have costs—in ruined lives and actual dollars.

Illustration for article titled Why Are Black People Nearly 4 Times as Likely to Be Arrested for Weed?
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Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root’s senior staff writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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