New York City Won’t Stop Using the Guise of Weed Arrests to Discriminate Against People of Color

Earlier this month, in the aftermath of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ promise that he would proceed his campaign towards state-legalized hashish, one unlikely detractor emerged from the shadows to chastise the chief of our nation’s Department of Justice.

While this tweet’s content material is definitely on level, the supply is extraordinarily troubling, as Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, has discriminatory regulation enforcement vendettas in his personal yard to fear about earlier than he will get on his high-horse about hashish legalization.

Last yr round this time, we advised you that New York City noticed an increase in marijuana possession arrests for the first time in 5 years. If you anticipated issues to get higher in 2017, as we did, you’re going to be sorely disillusioned.

It appears Mayor de Blasio is aware of a lot about how the War on Drugs impacts communities of shade as a result of New York, one of the largest cities in the world, has a historical past of  discriminately arresting Black and Hispanic residents for marijuana possession — even after the Mayor vowed in 2013 to drastically scale back the quantity of marijuana possession arrests in the metropolis.


“I think the fact that you will see fewer unnecessary arrests will be good for New York City as a whole. It will be good for New Yorkers of color and young people of color—there is no question about that,” de Blasio stated throughout a press convention at NYPD headquarters in late-2014. “We’ll see how the numbers come out over time but there’s no doubt in my mind it will be a very substantial impact. And for a lot of young people it means they will not have this reality holding them back; a summons is not going to affect their future. An arrest, could. And we want to avoid that unnecessary burden.”

Of the almost 18,000 marijuana possession arrests carried out in 2017 in New York City, greater than 86 % have been Black and Hispanic individuals, in accordance to a new launch of knowledge from the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services. These minority teams make up roughly half of the metropolis’s inhabitants, however far more of its jail group due to entrenched biases and longheld discriminatory enforcement insurance policies like “cease and frisk.” Fewer than 9 % of marijuana possession arrests in New York City final yr have been carried out on White “offenders.”

“It’s confirmation that the NYPD’s marijuana policing strategy has been concentrated on black and brown New Yorkers, ” stated Anthony Posada, a supervising lawyer for the Legal Aid Society. “Policing is showing us the tale of two cities, and that there’s policing that occurs for some people and not for others.”

The NYPD has categorically denied they function with a bias towards communities of colour when it comes to marijuana, saying their officers go the place the complaints are lodged and that’s all, however the proof and is tough to deny — particularly given the pattern measurement.

The statistics are particularly troubling when you think about the report additionally shows White individuals aged 18-25 use hashish greater than Blacks or Latinos in New York City.


Not solely has Mayor de Blasio and his cops failed to remove the marijuana arrest drawback in the Big Apple, they’ve made it worse. In reality, the NYPD arrested extra individuals for marijuana between 2015-16 than beneath Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani from 1994-96, when marijuana was not decriminalized in the metropolis.

As states in the Northeast race to the end line of leisure hashish legalization (Vermont and New Hampshire have joined Maine and Massachusetts in permitting adult-use hashish possession) New York is confronted with a troublesome determination: transfer with the altering tide and proper many years of wrongdoing by legalizing marijuana and retroactively expunging the arrest data of any nonviolent weed offenders, or proceed doing enterprise as regular to justify utilizing taxpayer cash to implement outdated insurance policies the individuals have very clearly expressed they oppose.

What will you do apart from Tweet about the drawback, New York lawmakers?


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