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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says new figures show arrests for marijuana possession are racially biased in the country and North Carolina, where blacks account for 50 percent of the arrests while comprising 22 percent of the population.

In a report released Tuesday, the ACLU says North Carolina law enforcement officers made nearly 21,000 marijuana arrests in 2010. The report says that’s the 10th-highest in the nation. The report says more than 50 percent of all drug arrests in the state that year were for marijuana possession.

The report says blacks were arrested for marijuana possession at nearly 3.5 times the rate of whites in North Carolina despite comparable marijuana usage rates.

The ACLU used federal crime statistics and US Census data for the report.

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