Marijuana decriminalization bill requires impact in Empire State


About a month right after the state decriminalized cannabis, New Yorkers with low-level marijuana convictions will have their records expunged. 

The measure, deemed a win in the fight against racial discrimination, will influence practically 25,000 individuals, most of whom are in New York City. Meanwhile, smoking weed in public will only be punishable with a fine rather than jail time.

“Communities of colour have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far as well extended, and nowadays we are ending this injustice when and for all. By […] minimizing Draconian penalties, we are taking a important step forward in addressing a broken and discriminatory criminal justice course of action,” Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed the decriminalization bill final month, mentioned in a statement.

Governor Cuomo is a supporter of complete legalization in the state, even naming it one particular of his leading policy priorities final year.

More than in Kentucky, a equivalent work to alleviate racial discrepancy in drug arrests was announced this week as nicely. 

“For me to genuinely be a minister of justice, I can’t sit idly by when communities of colour are treated differently,” Jefferson County Lawyer Mike O’Connell mentioned right after announcing his office’s intention to cease pursuing low-level marijuana charges.

Below the new policy, the county attorney’s workplace will no longer prosecute marijuana possession circumstances involving one particular ounce or much less of weed. 

America’s controversial War on Drugs led to a multitude of policies that ended up targeting minorities. Many statistics point to racial disparities in arrests, prosecutions, and sentencing.

An evaluation by the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that African-Americans have been three.73 occasions a lot more probably to be arrested for cannabis possession than white individuals involving 2001 and 2011. Meanwhile, other information points to the truth that practically 80% of individuals serving time in federal prisons are African-American or Latino.

The forerunner of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – the Federal Bureau of Narcotics – is credited with criminalizing cannabis beneath the helm of its 1st commissioner Harry J. Anslinger.

These days, the DEA is nonetheless aggressively fighting cannabis cultivation, but it exhibits a a lot various attitude towards healthcare cannabis.

The truth that 33 states and D.C. have legalized cannabis in some kind in the previous decade is proof that there’s a substantial political work to finish the adverse consequences of the war on drugs.


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