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New York City’s Eye-Popping Racial Disparity In Marijuana Arrests To Be Examined By Bar Association, April 30

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director April 19, 2008

    Most of New York City’s millions of citizens, notably elected policymakers and the media from New York City, have no blooming idea that The Big Apple nearly tops the nation’s metropolitan areas in both per capita arrest rates for marijuana and racial disparity in enforcing cannabis prohibition laws. In supposedly ‘liberal’ and ‘tolerant’ NYC for every white person arrested, nine minorities are arrested.

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    Starting with the NORML Foundation’s bold and assertive ad campaign in 2002 challenging then new mayor, and admitted cannabis user, Michael Bloomberg to stop the NYPD’s practice of mass harassment of cannabis users which had started under Rudolph Giuliani (Under Giuliani NYC exploded the number of annual cannabis arrests from around 2,000 to over 58,000 in less than 6 years!), there are now renewed efforts underway to challenge the NYPD’s resource-draining deviation from the statewide practice in New York of simply issuing a small fine to minor cannabis offenders—rather than arresting, holding, booking and then citing them for $100.

    Based principally on the eye-opening research work of Harry Levine, Ph.D and Deborah Small, Esq., (along with the longstanding criminal justice research of Bruce D. Johnson, Ph.D) the New York City Bar Association meets April 30 to review and discuss the current legal status of cannabis in NYC, law enforcement patterns and motivations regarding targeting cannabis consumers and alternative policing policies and practices.

    Dr. Levine spoke at NORML’s 2007 conference in Los Angeles about his surprising research into law enforcement practices in NYC regarding cannabis.

    The public and local media are invited and encouraged to participate.

    What: Lecture on ‘New York City’s Marijuana Arrest Policy: Thirty Years After Decriminalization’

    When: Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 6:30 PM

    Where: The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

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