Some 86% of the folks busted for felony second offense marijuana possession in Milwaukee County were African-American, records show.
Just 9 percent were white and 4 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
The county's population is about 66 percent white, 25 percent black, and 9 percent Latino or Hispanic.
WJI was able to identify a total of 95 arrests countywide during 2015 and 2016 that resulted in the single charge of felony second offense marijuana possession. Incurring a second charge of possession of marijuana, no matter how small the amount, is a felony in Wisconsin.
Seventy-six of the county's 2015 and 2016 arrests occurred in the City of Milwaukee north of I-94, seven occurred in the city south of I-94, and one occurred on I-94.
Eleven total arrests occurred in the suburbs of Cudahy (2), Glendale (3), Greendale (1), Oak Creek (1), South Milwaukee (1), and Wauwatosa (3). The remaining suburbs had no arrests resulting in felony second offense possession charges.
County Supervisor John Weishan is seeking a November advisory referendum on marijuana legalization. The arrest numbers may well be argument in favor - get rid of marijuana prohibitions, and get rid of some elements of biased law enforcement.
2015-16 Felony second offense marijuana possession arrests - Milwaukee, I-94 and north
Key to the maps: Pins represent 2016 arrests; officers represent 2015 arrests. Racial key: brown = African American; red = Hispanic; green / blue = white.
2015-16 Felony second offense marijuana possession arrests - Milwaukee, I-94 and south
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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