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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

New CA Poll: Latinos Do Not Think Marijuana Possession Should Lead to Deportation

July 25, 2014

Los Angeles, CA-- With state laws quickly changing around marijuana legalization and decriminalization, so too are Latino communities’ views on marijuana and its role in our deportation and immigration systems. According to a newly released poll from Latino Decisions and Presente.org, Latinos today do not see marijuana possession as a legitimate cause for deportation.

Latinos and African Americans are incarcerated in higher numbers than any other group for drug possession, despite using drugs at lower rates than white Americans. A lesser known effect of the drug war, however, is its impact on immigrants. Deportation policies tear undocumented families apart for marijuana possession.

Today’s poll dives into Latino opinions on that process.

Key findings from the new poll:
- Nearly two thirds of Latinos (64%) in California disagree that someone should be deported for a small amounts of marijuana.
- When asked more generally about drug possession-- 60% of Latinos in California disagree that immigrants should be deported for non-violent drug possession of any kind.

See the poll here: California Latino Attitudes Toward Drug Possession and Deportation

“Latinos believe that the war on drugs is a failure and that our sentencing system is
broken,” said Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org. “Families shouldn’t be torn apart over marijuana possession. It’s time to enact common sense policies and stop wasting money over minor marijuana possession charges. It’s time to stop allowing
the justice system to prey on America’s most vulnerable residents. We need reasonable and responsible drug sentencing reform that ends the war on communities of color.”

“The latest polling of Latino voters makes clear that both our immigration policy and
our drug policy are in need of serious reform,” said Dr. Matt Barreto, Principal at Latino Decisions. “A clear majority of Latinos oppose deportation for minor drug infractions - especially as the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana becomes
more popular at the state level.”

“The findings of the poll demonstrate that the Latino community is in favor of halting
the deportations of non-violent offenders for minor drug offenses and ending the irresponsible misallocation of resources that compromises public safety,” said Armando Gudino from the Drug Policy Alliance. “Latinos have the potential and -- as the poll demonstrates
-- the disposition to play a pivotal role in the transformation of the criminal justice system and the promotion of responsible immigration reform,” he added.

Not long ago, conventional wisdom held that Latinos displayed more conservative views
on drug laws, but the last poll from Latino Decisions and Presente.org revealed that the disproportionate impact of drug laws on Latinos changed their minds on the issue.

See that poll here: New Poll Shows Major Support Among Latinos for Sentencing Reform

This new poll takes that one step further-- making it clear that Latinos don’t want to see deportations spurred by simple charges of possession.

Presente.org is the nation’s largest online Latino organizing group with more than 300,000 members, all working to amplify the political voice of Latino communities.

Latino Decisions is the leader in Latino political opinion research. Founded by professors of political science,Dr. Gary M. Segura and Dr. Matt Barreto, our firm leverages a unique combination of analytical expertise and cultural competencies that are unparalleled in the industry. The Latino Decisions team is comprised exclusively of credentialed research scientists with established publication records, rigorous methodological training, and experience with large-scale collaborative research projects.