Martin Malavé Dilan's Blog

Senator Dilan Rallies for Support of Reforms to Marijuana Decriminalization Laws

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Senator Dilan joined sponsor of the “Fairness and Equity Act,” Senator Squadron, elected officials, the Drug Policy Alliance and Vocal NY, among others, to call for comprehensive reforms to address the growing rate of racially-biased marijuana arrests in New York and their collateral impact on communities.

“Much has changed in marijuana policy since decriminalization nearly 40 years ago; so much so that the legislature and Governor recently approved its medicinal use. However, public possession of marijuana remains one of the most draconian drug policies in the nation. It has wasted police and court resources and unfairly targeted minority communities. The day to close the public-possession-loophole has come,” said Senator Dilan.

Last year, there were nearly 30,000 marijuana possession arrests in New York City alone. Based on first-quarter data obtained from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, NYPD is now on track to make nearly as many marijuana possession arrests in 2014 as it did in 2013, with similarly shocking racial disparities.