Know Your Rights NYC
by The Struggle Is A Choice
Pay attention to the advocacy for responsible Marijuana consumption.
NYPD Ordered to Stop Wrongful Marijuana Charges. In September 2011, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered all NYPD officers to stop charging people with misdemeanor marijuana violations based on improper searches. This could lead to the reduction of tens of thousands of marijuana arrests every year in NYC. Since New York decriminalized small amounts of marijuana over three decades, possessing under 25 grams is only a criminal offense if it is publicly visible. Since the mid-1990s, officers have abused this legal loophole by tricking people – mostly young people of color – into publicly revealing marijuana concealed in a pocket or handbag by demanding they “empty their pockets.” The police then make the arrest for “public view” for what should legally be a non-criminal civil citation. The new policy directive comes on the heels of a 2011 DPA report highlighting the enormous costs of marijuana arrests in New York and a public pressure campaign led by the Drug Policy Alliance, the Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform (IJJRA) and Alternatives, and VOCAL New York.