Disproportionate number of blacks charged with pot possession in Lakeland, Winter Haven

Black adults were five times more likely to be arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana than white residents in Polk County’s largest two cities in 2015. Black juveniles were arrested at a rate six times higher than white juveniles for possession.

Black adults were five times more likely to be arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana than white residents in Polk County’s largest two cities in 2015. Black juveniles were arrested at a rate six times higher than white juveniles for possession. 

Though making up 20 percent of Lakeland’s population, based on 2014 U.S. Census estimates, blacks comprised 57 percent of the 405 arrests of adults for misdemeanor possession. Black juveniles were arrested at a rate six times higher than white juveniles with 30 arrests to 19.

In Winter Haven, black residents made up 28 percent of the city’s population but accounted for 63 percent of the 137 arrests of

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