Ending the Marijuana Arrest Crusade in NYC
Over the past 15 years, New York City has become the marijuana arrest capital of the world. Even though possession of less than 25 grams has been decriminalized in New York State since 1977, more than 50,000 people were arrested in New York City for "possessing or burning marijuana in public view" in 2011. More than 84 percent of those arrested were people of color – even though young whites use marijuana at higher rates. These arrests cost NYC taxpayers $75 million last year and over $600 million dollars during the last decade. Most of these arrests are the result of illegal searches and false charges. Along with our partners at the Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform and Alternatives (IJJRA) and VOCAL New York, and hundreds of people who have been impacted by these arrests, we're working to end these fiscally wasteful, racially biased and illegal marijuana arrests for good.
Monitoring Implementation of the Reforms to the Rockefeller Drug Law
In DPA is focused on implementing 2009's reforms to the Rockefeller Drug Law reform and advancing a health and public safety approach to drug policy.
Developing a Health-based Approach to Drug Policy
In 2009, DPA and The New York Academy of Medicine co-hosted a two-day conference in New York City, titled "New Directions for New York," in order to develop joint strategies to move towards a more effective public health and safety approach to drug policy in New York City and State. Today, DPA and NYAM are working on an ambitious project to develop a blueprint for a health based approach to drug policy in our state.
Reducing Accidental Overdose Deaths
There is an fatal overdose crisis in New York, and in 2011, DPA and our local partners took action to save lives by passing the most far-reaching 911 Good Samaritan legislation in the country. The law encourages people to call 911 by providing a limited shield from drug or alcohol possession charges in a drug or alcohol overdose situation. Many people who are in situations where they are using drugs or drinking alcohol while underage are afraid to call 911 when someone is overdosing, fearing getting charged for drug or alcohol possession if the police come. This new legilsation will, we hope, help save lives by removing barriers to accessing emergency services. No one should be afraid to call 911 in an emergency.
Promoting Racial Equity in Policy Making
The Rockefeller Drug Laws led to unprecedented, unwarranted racial disparities inNew York’s criminal justice system, and a range of collateral consequences for marginalized communities of color. The premise behind racial and ethnic impact statements is to address those potential consequences before adopting new policies.