Examining Marijuana Arrests
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Examining Marijuana Arrests
Posted by CN Staff on April 01, 2012 at 20:34:08 PT
Source: New York Times
New York -- The New York State Legislature showed good sense when it exempted people convicted of low-level marijuana possession from having to submit DNA to the state database, unless they have been convicted of a previous crime. Still, the state must do more to curb the arrests of tens of thousands of people each year in New York City for minor possession of marijuana, despite a 1977 state law that decriminalized it. State data show that the New York Police Department arrested more than 50,000 people last year for low-level possession, with about 30 percent having no prior arrest record. More than 11,700 of those arrested were 16- to 19-year-olds; nearly half had never been arrested before and 94 percent had no prior convictions.
Under the 1977 law, possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana is a violation, subject to a $100 fine for the first offense. But possession of any amount that is in public view is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a $500 fine. Civil rights lawyers say that many of those stopped by city police were arrested after officers told them to empty their pockets, which brought the small amount of drugs into view. The Bronx Defenders, a public defender agency in that borough, reported last week that it had examined the cases of 518 people arrested for low-level possession in 2011 and concluded that 40 percent of them were unlawfully arrested or charged. Marijuana arrests declined after passage of the 1977 law, but that changed in the 1990s. Between 1997 and 2010, the city arrested 525,000 people for low-level, public-view possession, according to a legislative finding. Lawmakers and civil rights lawyers are rightly outraged that more than 80 percent of those arrested in the city are black and Latino, despite substantial data showing that whites are more likely to use the drug. Bills pending in both the Senate and the Assembly could help reduce the inequity in the law by making public possession of a small amount a violation instead of a misdemeanor. A version of this editorial appeared in print on April 2, 2012, on page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Examining Marijuana Arrests.Source: New York Times (NY)Published: April 2, 2012Copyright: 2012 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by museman on April 02, 2012 at 18:14:49 PT
too little too late
"Bills pending in both the Senate and the Assembly could help reduce the inequity in the law by making public possession of a small amount a violation instead of a misdemeanor."So you want to 'reduce the inequity of the law' eh? And somehow you believe that changing it so that it becomes a 'mandatory fine offence'(oh they don't wanna talk about that) infraction, and if the fine or 'fee' isn't paid, then it goes straight into criminal prosecution. This is just a ploy to generate more 'ordinance funding' (don't wanna talk about that either) for the various metropolitan redesigning of America to establish 100% control over everything through economic-money based 'law.'Like ordinances to outlaw protest -that NY seems to be leading in right now, due to the 'occupy' threat to long worshiped, and venerated lies about wealth and power.Like outlawing growing your own anything.Like forcing you to comply with certain medical practices and corporate pharma -to kill yourself slowly with the toxic 'designer medicine' literally being shoved down people's throats- or just die quicker with more pain. Practicing medicine, or healing on oneself, without tithing to the rulers is a punishable offence.The ordinances of state, county, and city have all been doctored of late, and for some time, roughly coinciding uncannily enough with the timeline mentioned in this article, starting sometime during the end of the Reagan reign and the beginning of the bushes.There is 'inequity' in the way that some 'crimes' seem to apply more to poor people of other-than-white races, but the 'checks and balances' of the US Government hasn't acted in any way shape or form towards actual balance between race, creed, culture, or the huge disparity of division of global and national wealth and resource. Instead, they continue flaunting their power all the while their lawyer 'mouthpieces' (politicians) work feverishly (not) to find new ways to make 'law' without 'violating the spirit of the US Constitution'. And even though the very fact that WE DO NOT HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT -except of the Elite, by the Elite, and for the Elite can be stated unequivocally, without the slightest doubt in the mind of anyone who has ever been on the true receiving end of amerikan 'justice' that it is fact.So the bone these lawurinators posing as 'representatives' are offering to throw down like table scraps to appease the rabble going on about rights and liberty and such -even though it is actually a ruse to enact more fee/fine based 'rules' and 'ordinances' enforceable in any municipality that writes them into its own charter, or whatever they call their 'law'- is being lauded here as if it is some kind of nice thing these f-n posers are doing for the people.NOTLEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on April 02, 2012 at 09:53:48 PT
News Letter.
Dear jerry,
Never before have I seen such momentum to end the failed war on drugs. The drug policy reform movement is gaining significant ground.
This month, evangelical religious leader Pat Robertson said that marijuana should be regulated like alcohol. He also endorsed the Colorado and Washington State marijuana legalization ballot initiatives.
Last week, Latin American leaders met to discuss alternatives to the failed war on drugs. For the first time, we are hearing current presidents denounce the drug war and call for breaking the taboo on discussing alternatives to failed prohibitionist policies.
When Vice President Biden visited the region a few weeks ago, he acknowledged that legalization is a legitimate subject for debate -- even as he insisted that the Obama administration still firmly opposes it. That acknowledgement represented a modest but important new step forward. But despite this momentum, the war on drugs rages on. Most U.S. policymakers remain firmly entrenched in the drug war mentality. Many challenges and opportunities lie ahead. I need you to stay with me so we can fight this insanity!
jerry, help us raise $14,000 by midnight this Thursday. We're only $10,666 away from our goal. Your tax-deductible donation will help us educate the public and politicians about the devastating reality of the drug war and the need to pursue alternative policies.
By lifting the de facto prohibition on consideration of drug war alternatives, the Drug Policy Alliance and our supporters have changed the debate and are bringing it to the forefront of mainstream attention. This shift is a crucial step in dismantling the drug war. Our work with the Global Commission on Drug Policy undoubtedly influenced the growing number of courageous leaders in Latin America or elsewhere who are now speaking out. At this point it is no longer possible to put this genie back in the bottle.
DPA is working with local partners to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington this November and we're working with Congress on a historic bill that would end federal marijuana prohibition. The most recent Gallup Poll showed -- for the first time ever -- that half of all Americans think that marijuana should be legal. We are on the verge of a major breakthrough. I have never felt so optimistic. But I also know that this movement needs your unfailing support to keep moving forward. We won't back down but neither will our opposition.
With your help, we've pushed drug policy reform forward but the challenges that lie ahead will require resources to tip the scale. Donate today and help the Drug Policy Alliance dismantle the drug war and promote alternatives grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.
Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on April 02, 2012 at 08:36:01 PT
Finger in the Dike
Yes, change the penalty for "public view"! However, it's just a finger in the dike of bad prohibition and its insidious effects on society.Laws Create Criminals
Excerpt: "My hope, my prayer, is that most Americans have enough love-thy-neighbor in them to keep the peace through loving peace, and cherishing Justice and Liberty. It's a great dream. "Government must create criminals
Excerpt: "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only P O W E R any government has is the P O W E R to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them." said Dr. Ferris. ~Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged So, in the words of some to-me anonymous songster: "...behind the coffee pot... love, love, love, love, LOVE!"
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on April 02, 2012 at 05:33:05 PT
Look busy.
When a company has too many employees, the thought is conveyed: look busy. Caging 140 people a day for doing nothing wrong, keeps ignoids busy.Who do We thank? Don't forget their union. 
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