New York Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries used his state of the district speech to highlight a need to push marijuana decriminalization as a means of stopping entrapment tactics by the NYPD.
Jeffries has long been opposed to the famous NYPD stop and frisk program which led to it being the world’s leading jailer for marijuana offenses. With many supporters in the audience he said,
“It’s only happening in certain communities… It’s not happening in the Village. It’s not even happening in Williamsburg, despite the fact that marijuana use in those communities is equal if not greater than those in [Fort Greene and Clinton Hill].”
This call by Jeffries is needed. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly issued a memo in September telling the department hierarchy not to arrest people for marijuana that was never in plain sight. It didn’t work, the marijuana arrest rate only dropped 13 percent in the first three months after the memo.
Removing all penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana is the only answer to solving the NYPD problem. Decriminalization would prevent 0ne in seven arrests in the city, instantly decrease the racial profile in arrests rates, and free up police and taxpayer resources to focus on real issues.
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries has also announced that he will be running for congress.
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