Given the ample evidence of extreme bias in marijuana arrests, there’s no reason to think that the situation is any better in other areas of crime. Indeed, from a statistical standpoint, we should assume there is a bias in all categories. We just can’t know how extreme it is, because we’re missing data, and we don’t know how much data we’re missing.
Worse, when marijuana is legalized, we’ll lose our only indicator of how off-base the available data really are. Overall, decriminalization is probably a good idea, considering how much devastation the policing has caused in black and brown communities. But it will eliminate our most reliable barometer of police racial bias. When the arrests stop, we’ll stop seeing the disparity, but that doesn’t mean bias in other police practices will suddenly end.