Marijuana prohibition is a racist policy. If you are a minority, you are almost four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana compared to non-minorities, even though consumption rates are the same. Biased marijuana arrest rates have been prevalent in New York City for decades. Reform supporters were hopeful that things would change in New York City under Bill De Blasio’s administration. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case.
The New York Police Department has arrested an average of 80 people per day for low level marijuana possession in 2014. That’s a slight increase over 2013, which averaged 78 low level marijuana arrests per day. 86% of those arrested were minorities. 29% of those were teenagers. Those minority teenagers now have to carry the ‘marijuana scarlet letter’ which will hinder their chances at employment, housing, financial aid, and who knows how many other things.
More people have been arrested daily under Bill De Blasio’s administration for low level marijuana possession than were arrested under Mayor Bloomberg or Mayor Giuliani’s administrations. That’s unacceptable. Per The Gothamist:
“This is a practice and a policy that’s very easy to fix,” says Loren Siegel of the Marijuana Arrest Research Project. ”All it requires is for the mayor to tell the police commissioner to stop it.”
Marijuana prohibition is very harmful, both to minorities and non-minorities, but especially for minorities. It’s time that New York City, New York State, America, and the world ended marijuana prohibition. No one should ever be denied a job because they were once arrested for marijuana possession. No one should ever be denied financial assistance for college because they were caught with a joint. Marijuana prohibition is a racist, failed policy. To argue otherwise is a slap in the face to logic and reasoning.