Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
I’m writing to demand that you put an immediate end to NYPD’s marijuana arrest crusade.
These arrests are racially biased and target young people. Almost 70%
of those arrested are 16 – 29 years old. Nearly 86% of all those
arrested are Black and Latino — even though government studies of high
school seniors show Whites use marijuana at higher rates.
Many, if not most, of these arrests are the result of illegal frisks
and illegal searches, or outright false charging by the police. The
charges associated with these arrests create a criminal record that can
stay with someone for the rest of their life, severely limiting their
opportunities. The push for marijuana arrests affects not only those
arrested, but entire communities who must endure invasive, illegal
searches, and harassment from police every day.
These arrests are also astoundingly expensive. In 2010 alone, marijuana possession arrests cost NYC taxpayers $75 million. This money would be better spent on many other important priorities for the city.
I urge you to order NYPD to end the practice of illegal frisks and searches, and stop the push for marijuana arrests.