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Marijuana debate sparks racism discussion

The debate over lowering the fines for carrying less than 25 grams of marijuana came to a head in common council.

Alderman Willie Wade was vocal saying the change is needed to stop racial profiling.

Alderman Willie Wade, 7th district says, \"The data and research and information points to a disproportionate amount of discrimination, prejudice and racism on the way the law is enforced.\"

If approved, the penalty would go from 500 to 50 dollars.

Alderman Nik Kovac sponsored the proposed ordinance after the ACLU says pot use is the same across different ethnic groups except African Americans are nearly 5 times more likely to be arrested. But another minority alderman raised this question.

Alderman, Robert W. Puente of the 9th district says, \"If this is a racist policy then how does lowering the fine eliminate that?Because they can still get issued a citation, just with a lower fine.\"

Alderman Nik Kovac, 3rd district says, \"I wasn't claiming this is the fantasy of eliminating all structural racism in criminal justice system but it limits the impact.\"

Still suggesting police officers in Milwaukee are racist didn't sit well with Alderman Terry Witkowski of the 13th district, \"The discussion also insinuates that the chief of police puts officers in the highest crime areas because he's racist, and i have a real problem with that.\"

This proposal isn't due to be discussed again until June 2nd.

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