Reducing the Harms of Marijuana Prohibition

Marijuana arrests are the engine driving the U.S. war on drugs. Nearly half of all drug arrests each year are for marijuana-related offenses, the overwhelming majority of which are for personal possession. These arrests fall disproportionately on blacks and Latinos, although whites consume marijuana at the same rate or higher. Many of those who are arrested are saddled with a criminal conviction that can make it difficult or impossible to vote, obtain educational loans, get a job, secure housing, or even adopt a child. Additionally, the huge number of marijuana arrests each year usurps scarce law enforcement, criminal justice, and treatment resources at enormous cost to U.S. taxpayers.
 
The Drug Policy Alliance works to reduce the number of marijuana related arrests and associated penalties through crafting and advocating for legislation removing or reducing criminal penalties, initiatives making marijuana arrests the lowest law enforcement priority, and community based policy changes.  
 
DPA also works to expose and reduce rampant, system-wide racial disparities in marijuana arrests. DPA has released reports documenting and detailing chilling disparities in New York City and across California and continues to raise awareness about the unique burden U.S. marijuana policy places on black and Latino communities.
 
Marijuana prohibition has also caused incalculable violence and destruction by fostering an illegal marijuana market.  Organized crime, drug cartels, and gangs are the greatest financial beneficiaries of marijuana prohibition. In Mexico, illegal marijuana sales have contributed to the loss of tens of thousands of lives.

New York City Council Passes Resolution, Calls on Albany to Pass Legislation Ending Racially Biased, Costly, Unlawful Marijuana Possession Arrests

More than 90% of Marijuana Possession Arrests Come from NYC

NYC Council Joins Bloomberg, Kelly, District Attorneys in Calling on Albany to Act Swiftly and Pass Legislation to Close Loopholes, Standardize Penalties and Return to Intent of 1977 Decriminalization Law

Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance: 646-335-5384
Alfredo Carrasquillo, VOCAL NY: 718-415-9254
Kyung Ji Rhee, Center For NuLeadership: 347-712-0259

Advocates to Meet at One Police Plaza at 11 a.m. to Support City Council Resolution to be Voted at State Meeting Calling for End to Marijuana Arrest Crusade in NYC

Resolution Supports Legislation in Albany to Clarify Existing Marijuana Law; Advocates Continue to Pressure State Leaders to Pass Legislation to End Discriminatory, Costly, and Unlawful Arrests for Marijuana in Public View

Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance: 646-335-5384
Alfredo Carrasquillo, VOCAL NY: 718-415-9254
Kyung Ji Rhee, Center For NuLeadership: 347-712-0259

Hundreds of Activists and Community Leaders Descend on Albany with Thousands of Petition Signatures Calling on Senate to Pass Legislation that Would End 50,000+ Annual Costly, Unlawful and Racially Biased Arrests

Wednesday: NY City Council to Vote on Resolution Calling for Support of Legislation in Albany, Advocates to Meet at One Police Plaza at 11 a.m. to Support City Council Resolution

NEW YORK: Today hundreds of activists and concerned New Yorkers from around the state gathered in Albany to demand that Senate Republicans pass A. 10581, a bill that would end the practice of arresting individuals for possessing small amounts of marijuana in public view.  Following the rally, activists delivered a petition with more than 6,500 signatures to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, calling on him to advance sensible reforms.

Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance: 646-335-5384
Alfredo Carrasquillo, VOCAL NY: 718-415-9254
Kyung Ji Rhee, Center For NuLeadership: 347-712-0259
Timothy K. Rusch, ColorOfChange:  917- 399-0236

Tuesday: Hundreds Travel to Albany to Pressure State Leaders to Pass Legislation That Would End the 50,000+ Annual Unlawful, Biased, Costly Marijuana Possession Arrests in New York

Drive to Pass Legislation Comes on Heels of Cuomo, Bloomberg, Kelly, DA's Announcing Support for Closing Major Loophole in State's Marijuana Decriminalization Law

Wednesday: NY City Council to Vote on Resolution Calling for Support of New Law, Advocates to Meet at One Police Plaza at 11 a.m. to Support City Council Resolution

NEW YORK: On Tuesday, June 12th, hundreds of concerned people from around New York will travel to Albany to pressure state leaders to pass legislation that would end the biased and costly practices of falsely arresting tens of thousands of people in New York every year for low-level marijuana possession. Advocates will gather outside of the Assembly Chamber at 12 PM and then, the group will deliver a petition  with thousands of signatures from New Yorkers from every part of the state, calling on Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and the Senate to enact reforms.

Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance: 646-335-5384 or Alfredo Carrasquillo, VOCAL NY: 718-415-9254 or Kyung Ji Rhee, Center For NuLeadership: 347-712-0259

Senate Republicans Opposing Broadly-Supported Reforms to Marijuana Possession Law with Ludicrous Claims, Sabotaging Efforts by Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Kelly, District Attorneys, Community Groups to Bring Fairness and Clarity to Law

Reform Coalition Releases Two More Videos Highlighting Impact of Racially Biased, Costly, Unlawful Marijuana Arrests in NYC

Yesterday,  New York Republican Senate Majority Leader announced his opposition to Governor Cuomo’s proposal to standardize penalties for marijuana possession offenses in New York. The Senate Majority Leader, Dean Skelos, told the New York Times that “Being able to just walk around with 10 joints in each ear, and it only be a violation, I think that’s wrong.”

Tony Newman 646-335-5384

End Marijuana Arrests in New York

Urge NY State to end unlawful marijuana arrests now!

Coalition Planning Massive Push to Pressure State Leaders to Pass Legislation That Would End the 50,000+ Annual Unlawful, Biased, Costly Marijuana Possession Arrests in New York

Major Online Advocacy Campaign Features Powerful Video Testimonials; Hundreds Traveling to Albany to Pressure State Leaders

Drive to Pass Bi-Partisan Legislation Comes on Heels of Cuomo, Bloomberg and Kelly Announcing Support for Closing Major Loophole in State’s Marijuana Decriminalization Law

NEW YORK: On the heels of the announcement by New York Governor Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly of their support for ending the practice of arresting individuals for possessing small amounts of marijuana in public view, a major coalition of local and national organizations is launching a massive effort in the final weeks of the legislative session to win reform.

Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance: 646-335-5384 or Timothy K. Rusch, ColorOfChange:  917- 399-0236

Marijuana Arrests in NY: Fiscally Irresponsible, Racially Biased and Unconstitutional

New York’s marijuana arrest crusade undermines fiscal responsibility, racial equity and our constitutional rights.

NY Governor Cuomo Announces Support for Closing Major Loophole in State's Marijuana Decriminalization Law; Bloomberg and Kelly Follow Suit

Advocates Applaud Governor’s Leadership

Coalition Planning Massive Push for Next Two Weeks to Pass Marijuana Reform Law; Includes Major Online Advocacy Campaign Featuring Powerful Video Testimonials, and Hundreds Traveling to Albany to Pressure State Leaders

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Kyung Ji Rhee 347-712-0259 or Alfredo Carrasquillo 718-415-9254

New York Marijuana Arrests Campaign Videos

Watch these powerful video testimonials to learn about how the NYPD’s illegal marijuana arrest policy has impacted some of the over 50,000 people every year that are falsely charged and arrested for marijuana possession, and how you can help put an end to these egregious police practices.

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