NORML To Mayor Bloomberg: Stop Arresting So Many Minorities For Marijuana!

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director August 4, 2011

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg, by most all accounts, is one of the most fascinating political characters of the last decade. A self-made billionaire who, with a clear love for his fellow human beings and with great civic pride, chose to effectively become New York City’s mayor for the last nine years—spending more personal wealth than most any other political candidate in US history, for a mayor’s office no less—as the ultimate expression of his ability and want to positively effect as many people as possible, in a city (and region) that he clearly loves, during his tenure in a position where he can get things done.

    Along the way to becoming one of America’s wealthiest individuals, Mr. Bloomberg has donated a remarkable amount of money to many worthy causes, notably in the field to improve public health in America and the world, most especially at his alma mater, one of the best universities in the world, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

    With good health and continued good fortune, who knows what further impact Mr. Bloomberg will choose to make in national politics in his lifetime? He possess all the requisite skills and resources to become president if that’s what he chooses.

    Today we find out that Mayor Bloomberg is once again demonstrating why he is one of the most interesting and charitable politicians in the modern era in reading today’s New York Times about his most recent donation of $30 million to help black and Latino youth get better integrated into the region’s economy, develop valuable skill sets and to find productive employment.

    The Times reports that Mayor Bloomberg’s initial grant will be matched by New York City-based hedge fund manager and philanthropist George Soros.

    Here is the ironic point to this blog post: If Mayor Bloomberg is genuinely serious about creating more favorable employment environs for black and Latino youth in New York City, he should converse with Mr. Soros, who, has donated more money than anyone on the face of the earth in favor of drug policy reform—notably for cannabis law reforms—who, I’m sure would insist that the good mayor stop arresting black and Latino youth in New York City en mass.

    Regrettably, embarrassingly, for such an enlightened and civic-minded man, Mayor Bloomberg has largely maintained the shameful and starkly racially disparate cannabis law enforcement policies that he inherited from former Mayor (and drug prosecutor) Rudolf Giuliani. Mayor Giuliani exploded the annual cannabis arrest rate in the five boroughs of New York City from an average of about 2,000 arrests to an eye-popping 60,000 arrests per year.

    Bloomberg’s administration has, on average, maintained an annual arrest rate for simple cannabis possession cases over 45,000, with a disturbing ninety percent of arrests happening to….black and Latino youth.

    Mayor Bloomberg, please, listen to Mr. Soros and stop arresting and negatively effecting future employment opportunities for an entire generation of minorities in New York City who got caught doing the same thing you did in your more youthful years.

    And look how well you turned out after using cannabis?

    Why deny over 45,000 other New Yorkers (and tourists) annually the opportunity to pursue their life’s goals and dreams just because, like you, absent an arrest for your cannabis use, they chose to use a little ganja to relax? Unfortunately for them and New York taxpayers, they’re getting permanently scarred by your feckless and expensive Cannabis Prohibition law enforcement practices in Gotham.

    Mayor Bloomberg, your generous and thoughtful donation of $30 million—and that of Mr. Soros’—will be working at cross purposes if you continue to give the green light to the NYPD to arrest 45,000 cannabis consumers annually into the criminal justice system, the vast majority of whom are the very population you’re concerned with.

    Mr. Bloomberg, if you’re worried about saving face or “what does the NAACP think about all of this?”, don’t be. Because, hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers and tourists in New York City will very much appreciate the change in policy and the NAACP now supports changing America’s antiquated Cannabis Prohibition laws.

    Mayor Bloomberg, please magnify the positive impact of your philanthropy and concerns for civil society by ending the practice of ‘collaring’ cannabis consumers in New York City, and, instead, return to the cost effective and less detrimental practice to cannabis consumers (notably for minorities) by simply issuing a civil fine in the form of a written ticket for cannabis possession cases rather than employ valuable police time and resources unnecessarily arresting so many black and Latino cannabis consumers.

    39 Responses to “NORML To Mayor Bloomberg: Stop Arresting So Many Minorities For Marijuana!”

    1. gb says:

      Politicians don’t care about pot. They only say what it takes to get elected. When our crowd gets larger than the other crowd, the politicians will migrate over to our side, guaranteed.

    2. DENNI66 says:

      LOOKOUT! LOOKOUT! The prohibition boner’s about. And readily available to all.

    3. Rary says:

      What a ridiculous waste of time, all these arrests.

    4. Rebel with a Cause says:

      33. Jeanne has got it nailed.

      Simply “refuse” to turn your life over to government – every aspect of it. If you’re going to be a bear – be a grizzly.

    5. anaman51 says:

      As if more proof was needed, the above graph once again demonstrates the ugly reality that Rudi Giuliani should never be allowed anywhere near a place where laws are either made or enforced. The man is a raving anti-pot campaigner, and he takes his personally driven persecutions seriously. Nature help us if this strutting little Nazi jerk ever gets elected to a major public office, and the Red State Republican voters are just stupid enough to do it.

    6. Jeanne says:

      I am sick of this goverment telling what we can snoke and what we can’t. They need to get a life and not mine!!!!!!!

    7. DENNI66 says:

      I don’t care about who did what, but how is it quickly fixed?

    8. jett says:

      I emailed my State Senator that represemts me here in Oklahoma . She informed me the governor has already stated she doesnt support that. so I emailed Governor Fallin the following.

      “Dear Governor Fallin,

      I urge you to support the passage of medical Marijuana or the decriminalization of marijuana in the State of Oklahoma . It is time to end this very costly mistake in American History. We have spent over 1 Trillion Dollars to stop it and it hasn’t worked. Why not legalize it, tax it and be able to control it and take the black market out of the equation. We need to quit supporting the Mexican Drug cartels. Marijuana is safer than Alcohol and Tobacco yet it is illegal. There are many innocent lives ruined for smoking a joint or being caught with small amounts of marijuana. Many states are passing Medical Marijuana laws, and several other states are decriminalizing it. Oklahoma needs to come into the 21st century and let go of these ancient archaic laws that hold us back. This debate is gaining momentum nationwide. When we consider the budget shortfalls and the violence along the border the answer is clear. You cannot legislate morality. Did we not learn anything from Alcohol Prohibition? A person who cannot learn from their mistakes is bound to repeat them in the future. Thank you for your time on this matter,

      Thank you,”

      If any of you out there are in Oklahoma please voice your opinon on the legalization of Marijuana to you state reps and senators. Also let Mary Fallin know how you feel on it too.

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