Press Release  | 05/24/2011

Wednesday May 25, 10 a.m.: New Yorkers to Hold Rally Outside Mayor Bloomberg's House

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City Council Members Join Community Leaders to Deliver Mock Proclamation to Bloomberg for Making NYC the "Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World"

Blacks and Latinos Comprise 86% of Arrests Even though White Youth More Likely to Use Marijuana; Most Arrests Are the Result of Illegal Searches, Cost NY Taxpayers $75 Million A Year

New York, NY – Community leaders and City Council members will gather tomorrow at Mayor Bloomberg's Upper East Side house to call for an end to the Mayor's costly, biased marijuana arrest crusade. The arrests are largely the result of illegal searches, have led to staggering racial disparities, and cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars every year.

What: Bloomberg for making NYC #1 in Marijuana Arrests: Racial Bias, Illegal Searches, Fiscal Waste

When: Wednesday May 25, 2011 – 10 a.m.

Who: Community Leaders, Legal Experts, People Directly Impacted by These Arrests, and City Council Members Letitia James, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Jumaane Williams.

Where: Mayor Bloomberg's Upper East Side Apartment 17 East 79th Street, between 5th and Madison

Why

  • New York City is #1: Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, NYC is the marijuana arrest capital of the world.
  • Marijuana possession arrests are the number one arrest in NYC, making up 15% of all arrests
  • Over 50,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2010, despite marijuana possession being decriminalized in 1977.
  • Extreme racial bias: 86% of those arrested are Black and Latino despite whites smoking at higher rates.
  • Targeting Youth of Color: Over 55% of those arrested are between 16 – 24 years old, mostly young Black and Latino men.
  • Illegal searches and false charges: the NYPD is illegally searching people or “tricking” people to show them the marijuana in their pockets so they can arrest them for public possession
  • Fiscal Waste: $75 Million a year being spent on these marijuana arrests, while essential social services are being cut or eliminated.
  • The Hypocrisy of Mayor Bloomberg: He said he smoked marijuana and enjoyed it, but has overseen 100,000’s of arrests of young people of color.

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Sean Barry 646-373-3344

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