As aspect of some its members’ mission to bring racial justice measures to the finish of marijuana prohibition, the New York City Council may perhaps pass a law on Monday that would make illegal the hundreds of drug tests performed on residents who are on parole or probation.
“We all know that there’s no public security worth in violating folks more than low level marijuana offenses,” mentioned Donovan Richards, a council member who chairs the public security committee and proposed the bill. “Especially right now when the state has currently legalized healthcare marijuana and is speaking about legalizing recreational use.”
Richards likened the parole/probation drug test as “one trap door that trips folks up,” and mentioned a adverse marijuana test could get in the way of folks operating to get their lives back on track following getting interrupted by incarceration. The New York Every day News published figures stating that 20,000 folks have been on probation in 2018, and amongst these 600 had to go by means of marijuana testing.
“We’re attempting to make steady communities,” Richards mentioned.
Council members have been amongst New York’s leaders in contemplating approaches to counteract the racial equities of the War on Drugs all through the method of legalizing cannabis.
That regulation of weed may perhaps come to New York on a statewide level if Governor Mario Cuomo continues to operate on his re-election campaign pledges to regulate the drug. Although initially aspect of the governor’s very first 100 day targets for his term, Cuomo has lately permitted that the state may perhaps need to have to wait longer to see its very first legal marijuana method, dropping allowances for a marijuana plan from the upcoming state price range strategy.
But even as the legalization method encounters challenges in Albany, NYC City Council members have pressed ahead in exploring approaches to evolve the method when it comes to cannabis. A lot of have raised the challenge of racial equity applications that could involve prioritizing marijuana business enterprise licenses for folks with prior cannabis arrests or convictions.
In February, District Lawyer John Flynn started the method of dismissing smaller-time marijuana possession situations. “Nothing about [marijuana prosecution] created our city safer,” Flynn testified at a NYC City Council committee hearing on February 27. “In reality, these prosecutions eroded public trust in law enforcement and frustrated our core mission.” That day, Flynn mentioned his workplace is operating towards “automatic sealing of earlier marijuana convictions”, a feat akin to the mass expungements that have currently been undertaken by San Francisco’s district lawyer.
Lawmakers about the state have been keen to see a legalization that tends to make allowances for the communities most harshly effected by the War on Drugs. Black state representatives have mentioned they will get rid of their help of Cuomo’s legalization strategy if it does not explicitly address their issues for Black and Latino communities that have been negatively and disproportionately impacted by marijuana policing.
These efforts are essential offered the mounting proof that racially biased policing is not corrected solely by creating marijuana legal. In each Colorado and Washington, research showed that Black folks continued to be arrested and face charges for drug offenses at larger prices than white folks following marijuana was regulated in their states.