NYPD: No More Marijuana Arrests

Target: Phil Walzak, New York City Police Department (NYPD) Deputy Commissioner of Public Information

Goal: Stop arresting people for smoking marijuana in public spaces.

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio has an announcement for his city’s police force — stop prosecuting low-level offense pot smokers. Under state jurisdiction, public marijuana use warrants arrest and possessing small amounts could mean a summons. In NYC, approximately 17,880 people were arrested in 2017 for having meager quantities of marijuana. Around 86 percent of the detained happened to be people of color. Now, De Blasio wants to reform the broken criminal justice system where racial minorities are often penalized more severely for minor wrongdoings.

Formerly opposed to marijuana legalization, De Blasio has surprisingly given the NYPD 30 days to implement the legal alterations. Instead of detaining people for public marijuana use, the mayor has proposed simple citations in addition to reexamining protocol. Whether or not that’ll remedy the targeting of racial minorities, we’ll just have to wait and see. As delegations are underway, show your support in eliminating this institutionalized form of racism by signing the petition.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Deputy Walzak,

Following NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent mandate to decriminalize public marijuana smoking, hopefully you understand the importance of eradicating racial disparities in your precinct’s drug enforcement efforts. Based on the mayor’s overwhelming support, the consensus is that too many negative impacts come from arresting someone over smoking marijuana in public. It falls under the same rationale of drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Safe to say that the public demands justice seeing that people of color are arrested at disproportionate rates for minuscule offenses.

Not only do your colleagues need to learn how to deescalate potentially lethal situations, but also stop targeting specific demographic groups. Some of your officers been perceived as brutal and corrupt after the murder of Eric Garner (whose death was wrongfully attributed to his obesity instead of plainclothes officer Justin Damico) and other controversies ranging from sodomy, rape and manslaughter. Restore public trust in the NYPD by committing yourself to this measure. It’s only a matter of time until marijuana is legal statewide — so the sooner you adopt these changes, the better.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cannabis Culture

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2 Comments

  1. smoking marijuana in public spaces should not be a racial issue, but a public health problem.

    I’m from Sweden and here people are not allowed to smoke tobacco in certain public areas do to the concern of public health. Marijuana is an illegal drug here in Sweden as I think is good, I can’t promote this petition do to my opinion against drugs.

    If alcohol was invented in present time, I would not be surprised if even that had become illegal. For whatever opinion about drugs, one thing is absolutely certain, and it is that drugs have a huge health and economic destructive impact on individuals, families and consequently on society itself.

    • gen agustsson says:

      1st of all, cannabis should not be illegal in this world and its needs to be legal. cannabis is not a drug and its a herb.

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