In response to Mayor de Blasio’s announcement about new policies for marijuana arrests, VOCAL-NY and the Drug Policy Alliance released the following statement, attributable to Civil Rights Campaign Director Nick Encalada-Malinowski and Drug Policy Alliance New York Director Kassandra Frederique.
“It’s frustrating that as the New York State Health Department moves toward legalization, the City is continuing its shameful history of racist marijuana enforcement. It is also confusing because the new policy does not appear to address racial disparities at all, which was the issue that supposedly prompted this in-house review.
“The exceptions that the Mayor has laid out — arrests for people on parole or probation, people with criminal records, people with warrants or lacking ID, or for ‘officer discretion’ — will compound existing collateral consequences and all but guarantee the status quo of racial disparity continues.
“People who are directly impacted were not consulted in the Mayor’s review of NYPD enforcement, and although DPA spoke with NYPD the policy shift is not reflective of our joint position: we have firmly said there should be no arrests, no summonses, no using marijuana as a pretext for police interactions, and the beginning of a process to repair the vast harm caused by NYPD’s enforcement of marijuana prohibition which has almost exclusively targeted communities of color.”
Tomorrow, June 20, advocates, community members, and NYC elected officials will hold a press conference and rally to address NYC’s new marijuana policy and call on the Mayor to also instruct the City’s agencies (NYCHA, Administration for Children’s Services, professional licensing boards) to address the harms caused by past arrests and reform their policies around marijuana.
What: Marijuana Justice Rally
When: June 20 at Noon
Where: City Hall steps NYC