jail arrest marijuana cannabis

New York City is home to some of the largest cannabis arrest disparities in the nation, with racial minorities getting arrested for cannabis at a significantly higher rate than non-minorities. Cliff Robinson was born and raised in New York, and while he didn’t grow up in New York City (Cliff was raised in Buffalo), he is very familiar with the harms of cannabis prohibition.

Cliff Robinson, along with the Uncle Cliffy team, strongly supports an effort by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, which will be releasing a major report tomorrow about cannabis arrests in New York City. The report was commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance.

“The racial disparity in arrest rates in New York City is completely unacceptable. A lot of rhetoric has been thrown around, but the math speaks for itself. Cannabis prohibition is not working in New York City and is resulting in selective enforcement. Current policy has failed, and it’s time for a more sensible approach. It is time for New York City, and the rest of the State of New York, to take the handcuffs off the plant.” said Cliff Robinson.

Below is more information about the Marijuana Arrest Research Project’s report release tomorrow via a press release from the Drug Policy Alliance:

On July 11, the Marijuana Arrest Research Project will release a major report commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance.

The report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York, shows that despite changing mayoral administrations and police commissioners, the NYPD continues to make large numbers of unjust and racially-targeted marijuana possession arrests.

Despite Mayor de Blasio’s campaign promise to end racially-biased policing, marijuana possession was New York City’s fourth most commonly charged criminal offense in 2016.

Black and Latino New Yorkers continue to comprise 85 percent of the more than 60,000 people arrested for low-level marijuana possession on Mayor de Blasio’s watch. Most people arrested are young Blacks and Latinos – even though studies consistently show young Whites use marijuana at higher rates.

The new report shows that the NYPD targets Blacks and Latinos for marijuana misdemeanor enforcement all over New York City. One key finding is that in many neighborhoods where Blacks and Latinos constitute a small minority of the residents, they are arrested in much higher numbers than Whites.

The NYPD arrests Black New Yorkers at 10 times the rate of Whites in Manhattan and 15 times the rate of Whites in Staten Island.

The report includes extensive analyses of marijuana arrest data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and demographic data for all five boroughs. Additional findings are embargoed until the report release.

What :  Press Conference for release of report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York

When:  Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 12 p.m.

Where:  Steps of New York City Hall

Who:

  • Drug Policy Alliance
  • Marijuana Arrest Research Project
  • LatinoJustice
  • VOCAL-NY
  • Brooklyn Defender Services
  • Immigrant Defense Project
  • Individuals directly impacted by marijuana prohibition