New Yorkers want Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD to end the costly, racially biased and illegal marijuana arrests.

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Friday, April 13th, 2012. New York City – New Yorkers for Health & Safety invite you to join them on April 24th to call for an end to Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD’s costly, racially biased and illegal marijuana arrests.

Under the Bloomberg administration, more than 400,000 people have been arrested on low-level marijuana charges in NYC, at a cost of over $600 Million. Most are Blacks and Latinos, despite Whites using marijuana at higher rates.

On Tuesday, April 24th from 12-2 P.M. people will meet at Foley Square in Manhattan. You can take the 4, 5 or 6 trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall.

The Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group critical of police marijuana-arrest policies says on its website that, “according to data just released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the New York City Police Department continued their marijuana arrest crusade in 2011, surpassing 2010’s near-record amount of low-level marijuana arrests. In 2011, the NYPD made more than 50,680 arrests for the lowest-level marijuana possession offense, making 2011 the second-highest period for marijuana arrests in New York City history.”

According to VOCAL-NY, “Despite hundreds of millions in proposed budget cuts for public services, Bloomberg continues to waste $75 million each year arresting mostly Black and Latino New Yorkers for possessing small amounts of marijuana, even though white youth have the highest rate of marijuana use. Moreover, current law says marijuana possession is only an arrestable offense if it is in plain view. Stop, question and frisk tactics, and the illegal searches that often follow, are driving these arrests.”

The New York Times reports that, “The high numbers of marijuana arrests under the Bloomberg administration have been linked by critics to the police’s stop-and-frisk practices and disproportionate enforcement against blacks and Hispanics.

While state law makes possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana an arrestable misdemeanor offense only when someone has it in public view, critics say that officers routinely make people they “stop and frisk” empty their pockets, then arrest them for having marijuana in public view.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union has information about What To Do If You’re Stopped By The Police.
What you say to the police is always important. Everything you say can be used against you. Tell the police, “I would like to remain silent.”
You never have to consent to a search of yourself, your belongings, your car or your house. If you do consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ask to see it. If they don’t, say “I do not consent to this search.”
If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and the right to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Don’t tell the police anything except your name and address. Don’t give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best. Don’t say anything to police without speaking to a lawyer first.

More info about the protest on the website of VOCAL-NY.

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