New York, NY: A national coalition of more than 100,000 celebrities, civil rights leaders, activists and members of Congress will converge on City Hall in New York City next week on Wednesday, June 4, to argue for the repeal of the state's Rockefeller Drug Laws, which are regarded as the most punitive drug laws in the nation. Recording mogul Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network are coordinating the event in conjunction with reform group Mothers of the New York Disappeared.
Earlier this week, Simmons, recording artist Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, and former gubernatorial candidate and US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Andrew Cuomo released a series of celebrity video ads calling for the repeal of the Rockefeller laws, which were enacted in 1973.
Under the laws, defendants face mandatory minimum sentences of up to 15 years in prison for the possession and sale of even minor amounts of drugs.
"Our leaders in Albany have talked about reform for years while thousands of low-level, nonviolent drug offenders remain in jail without good reason," Cuomo said. "At a time when we need to focus our limited resources on educating our children, caring for those who are sick, and punishing those who present true threats to our safety, we must reject these inhumane and wasteful laws."
For more information, please visit the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network online at www.hiphopsummitactionnetwork.org or contact Kris Krane, NORML Associate Director, at (202) 483-5500. An activist training summit is also scheduled for Sunday, May 31, at the Public Theater in New York City.