NORML To Mayor Bloomberg: Stop Arresting So Many Minorities For Marijuana!

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, by most all accounts, is one of the most fascinating political characters of the last decade. A self-made billionaire who, with a clear love for his fellow human beings and with great civic pride, chose to effectively become New York City’s mayor for the last nine years—spending more personal wealth than most any other political candidate in US history, for a mayor’s office no less—as the ultimate expression of his ability and want to positively effect as many people as possible, in a city (and region) that he clearly loves, during his tenure in a position where he can get things done.
Along the way to becoming one of America’s wealthiest individuals, Mr. Bloomberg has donated a remarkable amount of money to many worthy causes, notably in the field to improve public health in America and the world, most especially at his alma mater, one of the best universities in the world, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
With good health and continued good fortune, who knows what further impact Mr. Bloomberg will choose to make in national politics in his lifetime? He possess all the requisite skills and resources to become president if that’s what he chooses.
Today we find out that Mayor Bloomberg is once again demonstrating why he is one of the most interesting and charitable politicians in the modern era in reading today’s New York Times about his most recent donation of $30 million to help black and Latino youth get better integrated into the region’s economy, develop valuable skill sets and to find productive employment.
The Times reports that Mayor Bloomberg’s initial grant will be matched by New York City-based hedge fund manager and philanthropist George Soros.
Here is the ironic point to this blog post: If Mayor Bloomberg is genuinely serious about creating more favorable employment environs for black and Latino youth in New York City, he should converse with Mr. Soros, who, has donated more money than anyone on the face of the earth in favor of drug policy reform—notably for cannabis law reforms—who, I’m sure would insist that the good mayor stop arresting black and Latino youth in New York City en mass.

Regrettably, embarrassingly, for such an enlightened and civic-minded man, Mayor Bloomberg has largely maintained the shameful and starkly racially disparate cannabis law enforcement policies that he inherited from former Mayor (and drug prosecutor) Rudolf Giuliani. Mayor Giuliani exploded the annual cannabis arrest rate in the five boroughs of New York City from an average of about 2,000 arrests to an eye-popping 60,000 arrests per year.

Bloomberg’s administration has, on average, maintained an annual arrest rate for simple cannabis possession cases over 45,000, with a disturbing ninety percent of arrests happening to….black and Latino youth.
Mayor Bloomberg, please, listen to Mr. Soros and stop arresting and negatively effecting future employment opportunities for an entire generation of minorities in New York City who got caught doing the same thing you did in your more youthful years.
And look how well you turned out after using cannabis?
Why deny over 45,000 other New Yorkers (and tourists) annually the opportunity to pursue their life’s goals and dreams just because, like you, absent an arrest for your cannabis use, they chose to use a little ganja to relax? Unfortunately for them and New York taxpayers, they’re getting permanently scarred by your feckless and expensive Cannabis Prohibition law enforcement practices in Gotham.
Mayor Bloomberg, your generous and thoughtful donation of $30 million—and that of Mr. Soros’—will be working at cross purposes if you continue to give the green light to the NYPD to arrest 45,000 cannabis consumers annually into the criminal justice system, the vast majority of whom are the very population you’re concerned with.
Mr. Bloomberg, if you’re worried about saving face or “what does the NAACP think about all of this?”, don’t be. Because, hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers and tourists in New York City will very much appreciate the change in policy and the NAACP now supports changing America’s antiquated Cannabis Prohibition laws.

Mayor Bloomberg, please magnify the positive impact of your philanthropy and concerns for civil society by ending the practice of ‘collaring’ cannabis consumers in New York City, and, instead, return to the cost effective and less detrimental practice to cannabis consumers (notably for minorities) by simply issuing a civil fine in the form of a written ticket for cannabis possession cases rather than employ valuable police time and resources unnecessarily arresting so many black and Latino cannabis consumers.

39 thoughts

  1. Thank you again, NORML, Mr. Soros and everyone else on the rather lengthy and extensive list of people to thank.
    Hopefully, NYC will follow the lead of cities such as Philadelphia, and stop persecuting cannabis in the Big Apple. Hm, NYC outdone by Philly? That doesn’t sound like something New Yorkers would enjoy in sports or for cannabis.

  2. All it takes is a reporter asking the mayor why he is a giant hypocrite on this topic. Any reporters in NY brave enough to do that? Yeah thought not.

  3. I just checked the DEA’s latest drug schedule – I don’t see where natural THC extract has made it yet. I heard [only heard] a number of pharmaceutical companies are developing it now. Any input?
    [Paul Armentano responds: At this time it is a scheduling change that has only been discussed by DEA, not implemented. The issue still remains open to public comment.]

  4. 353,000
    Wow, how silly. Good people (mostly) in prision for smoking a harmless plant. Amazing how a conditioned mind works; they reason their actions divine based on propaganda that is devoid of facts.
    353,000 is a big number that creates greater revenue than it costs. Police like it, the bail bondsman like it, the def. lawyers like it; hell its an entire economic ecosystem based on a fearmongering and self interested political ambitions….at the exspence of the common man. But more than any dollar amount it does one other thing….it keeps us in check.
    Gotta love that 2% ??? They Live We Sleep.

  5. It’s “BIG PHARMA” and “ALCOHOL” (and shh, also “BIG BROTHER”) that helped to make Lamar Smith completely disregard HR 2306!!! They PAID him. We need money people! Some millionaire needs to pay big time and we will fight with green!!! Stop the madness!!!!! Alcohol industry doesn’t want competition! If they were smart though they would market them together and cause more health problems since that’s what they’re good at.

  6. It has been a normal thought pattern of those that are educated and have money to think they and others of their class can handle using Cannabis. And the people that are not as educated and well to do cant handle Cannabis use. If they were as bright as us they would be educated and not live in those neighborhoods that we only see when we have to but our dope. Keep it illegal who cares if they go to jail as long as we can go on holiday to a rehab if we get caught.

  7. When a person gets busted for drugs, they lose their right to participate in certain federal programs like tuition assistance or housing. So, it’s conceivable that the good mayor is trying to limit that assistance to minorities.

  8. American Genesist: I just checked the DEA’s latest drug schedule – I don’t see where natural THC extract has made it yet. I heard [only heard] a number of pharmaceutical companies are developing it now. Any input?
    Reply By Young Smoker:Well we know the drug czar doesn’t believe in marijuana having medicinal value but i wonder why Inventors: Hampson; Aidan J. (Irvine, CA), Axelrod; Julius (Rockville, MD), Grimaldi; Maurizio (Bethesda, MD)
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC) Filed and recieved a patent for cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants in October of 2003 Patent No. 6630507..Can they have a patent for something and say it has medicinal value but turn around and say that it has no medicinal value? What is going on here Genesist? I would like to kno and im sure readers of this will too..

  9. As far as what you are saying to us as Pharma taking over the plant and its natural effects and trying to patent it so the mass population is unable to have the plant without breaking the law of stealing and using someones patent i guess.Money Money Money.. I can not believe any type of natural or synthetic chemical is even allowed to be patented. The earth new chemical bonds as it formed should GOD patent that?

  10. Fuck you C Lloyd.. You might have your opinion but talkin shit about the oppression of people is bullshit.. I kno people like you they are sitting in our government scoffing at our unalienable rights prying at them little by little to allow the rich to get richer if you know what loopholes to jump thru..You think your better and smarter than people but yet you look illiterate with typos. I’m not saying mine are the best but back off because those so called rich/smart people that you are protecting will leave your ass here to deal with China when this country hit the shit unless you got a private jet too.

  11. Makes too much sense to decriminalize, that’s prob why they hold back and the fact that the church and drug lobbist have very deep pockets. Also look at the bigger picture the big big money the drug smugglers are making so they prob do not want to see their biz dissapear. I immagine when the drug companies can make a dollar off of it then the tide may shift on a national level. Seems like back when our president was on his campaign trail a few years ago he had stated he would loosen the DEA’s medical distribution raids, that is till he got in and the forces that be got a hold of him.

  12. I hope Mayor Bloomberg reads this blog because I want him to know that he will not lose the respect of the people if he decides to do the right thing; which is to stop turning good Americans into criminals via the marijuana prohibition farce. He would gain a great deal of respect from the vast majority who realize just how big a failure this witch hunt has proven to be. I hope he realizes that it is not doing our country any good at all to continue to ruin peoples lives over something that is relatively harmless (compared to prohibition injustices).

  13. This is totally unacceptable to put all these cannabis smokers in jail!!! Drunks do more harm than cannabis smokers, yet they can run free and all they get is a slap on the wrist. What ia wrong with this picture???
    Shame on this goverment!

  14. I read this news somewhere and thought WTF? Now he wants to help the young and disadvantaged instead of wrecking their lives? Is he fucking retarded? Sure it’s a wonderful thing to give all this money for a great cause but he’s already fucked over the lives of 100s of thousands of kids. He ought to be sealing all the arrests records if he really wants to help and stop the “scam on the streets” by calling off his LE on poor people.

    Potimism-[pot-uh-miz-uhm]- noun
    . The belief that marijuana will become legal no matter how unlikely it seems and there are positive ways around the excuses people give saying it can’t be legal.
    Tell your friends! Let’s make this viral!
    1. A disposition to look at the medical/financial benefits of marijuana and the good it will bring by making it legal.
    2. The belief it can be used responsibly like alcohol, except it’s much safer.
    3. Marijuana prohibition has overall failed and there are reasons it needs to be legal. Having more people vote yes on propositions that would make marijuana more available would help.
    4. To know that if it was sold in stores, weed would not be considered a” gateway drug” due to the fact that some dealers who sell marijuana also sell hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, making it an easy access to its use. This would also make it harder for minors to get it since there would be an age limit.
    5. To know the Reefer Madness generation was a time when people were brainwashed by the government to believe that marijuana has more negative side effects than it really does and that it leads to making bad decisions like murder, which is not true. The movie Reefer Madness, which exploits these untrue lies and was made for the purpose of having people oppose weed, has “Tell your children” in text at the end which sadly to say many have, leading to a chain of generations to believing it is worse than it really is. Thankfully this chain is weakening and more people are starting to realize the truth about weed.
    6. To know that alcohol is the driving force in a number of public and domestic disputes which can lower if more people smoked marijuana instead of drinking alcohol.
    7. That drug lords who operate marijuana rings can start their own legal business if marijuana became legal. (why not?)
    8. Knowing that it being illegal is causing violence to go up due to drug wars. This would go down significantly if the plant was legal.
    9. It had other uses such as oil and clothing.
    10. Our fore fathers, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew marijuana and our last three presidents have smoked weed.

  16. CDXX Communion of 08.05.11
    It seems like the youth of America is loaded, cocked, and ready to fire – “Comin’ out into the world.” They’re being “breast fed” revolution – worldwide revolution. They’re observing the results of their actions – and – it strengthens their resolve. The anger and frustration is unmistaken , and is recognized throughout every board. Caution: Be careful what you wish for – you just may get it.
    I personally, as a Genesist, have no intentions whatsoever [as long as I draw a free breath] of being dead while I’m alive. That is to say – “I can be a real hitch in your gitty-up” if you think for one second that I will live on my knees. You can take my physical body – but – you will never, ever get my soul – for it contains the Spirit of God – and – my individual eternal spirit self – “Two Spirits in one soul – Logos Nous.” God Bless America and the Americans she propagates.

  17. AAA country , AA politics. We deserve better. Sell cannibis now and create jobs from all cash crops.

  18. Its a money grab. How easy it is to bust potties for the police their non violent. won’t puke in the cop car,less chance of an altercation with police means less liability for the city, they just sit back n collect the money. New york can be fun but if your planning on going maybe you change your mind and spend your fun dollars someplace else that’s pot friendly.

  19. It would be nice to think that in one of the most difficult cities in the US to regulate violent crime, that both the mayor and individuals in his police force would have the sense to know that somebody should not be arrested simply for smoking pot, or possessing a sizable amount.How do the NYPD even have time to stop and question somebody about their pot smoking? I’m angered as an American, and if I were a New Yorker, I would be outraged!

  20. People in jail ( real noncriminals )are not able to contribute to economy is a crime in it’s self. The monster pitbull has grown and started biting them feds & co.on the ass.

  21. Remember – convicted felons cannot vote. Isn’t that a great way to eliminate a favorable vote.

  22. I emailed my State Senator that represemts me here in Oklahoma . She informed me the governor has already stated she doesnt support that. so I emailed Governor Fallin the following.
    “Dear Governor Fallin,
    I urge you to support the passage of medical Marijuana or the decriminalization of marijuana in the State of Oklahoma . It is time to end this very costly mistake in American History. We have spent over 1 Trillion Dollars to stop it and it hasn’t worked. Why not legalize it, tax it and be able to control it and take the black market out of the equation. We need to quit supporting the Mexican Drug cartels. Marijuana is safer than Alcohol and Tobacco yet it is illegal. There are many innocent lives ruined for smoking a joint or being caught with small amounts of marijuana. Many states are passing Medical Marijuana laws, and several other states are decriminalizing it. Oklahoma needs to come into the 21st century and let go of these ancient archaic laws that hold us back. This debate is gaining momentum nationwide. When we consider the budget shortfalls and the violence along the border the answer is clear. You cannot legislate morality. Did we not learn anything from Alcohol Prohibition? A person who cannot learn from their mistakes is bound to repeat them in the future. Thank you for your time on this matter,
    Thank you,”
    If any of you out there are in Oklahoma please voice your opinon on the legalization of Marijuana to you state reps and senators. Also let Mary Fallin know how you feel on it too.

  23. As if more proof was needed, the above graph once again demonstrates the ugly reality that Rudi Giuliani should never be allowed anywhere near a place where laws are either made or enforced. The man is a raving anti-pot campaigner, and he takes his personally driven persecutions seriously. Nature help us if this strutting little Nazi jerk ever gets elected to a major public office, and the Red State Republican voters are just stupid enough to do it.

  24. 33. Jeanne has got it nailed.
    Simply “refuse” to turn your life over to government – every aspect of it. If you’re going to be a bear – be a grizzly.

  25. Politicians don’t care about pot. They only say what it takes to get elected. When our crowd gets larger than the other crowd, the politicians will migrate over to our side, guaranteed.

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