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, even though white people use marijuana at similar rates. 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.
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.
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.
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.”
Urge NY State to end unlawful marijuana arrests now!
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.
New York’s marijuana arrest crusade undermines fiscal responsibility, racial equity and our constitutional rights.
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
DPA Statement: Obama’s Candor Was Commendable, But Hypocritical Escalation of War on Marijuana is Costly Political Miscalculation
A forthcoming biography on President Obama is making headlines, with new details about the president smoking marijuana with his teenage friends in Hawaii.