Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The tide against victimless drug crimes may be turning as New York to officially address policing of simple pot use and possession

Ever since Colorado and Washington passed the first recreational pot laws a few years ago, there has remained an 800 pound gorilla in the room that has not really been addressed.  And that is the combination of how police would deal with individuals who simply possess and use small amounts of marijuana, as well as those who are currently incarcerated for crimes that have now become legal in many states.

And on May 15 the beginnings of addressing this may finally be starting as the Mayor of New York City announced he was coordinating with the NYPD to reform how police deal with the public in regards to use and possession of pot or cannabis.

After decades of advocacy and protest, ample millions of life-altering arrests and incarcerations, and billions of dollars and human-hours wasted, NYC residents may soon see some relief in how the Big Apple treats cannabis users of color here in the nation's consumption capital
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that the New York Police Department (NYPD) intends to reform its cannabis enforcement policies over the next months. “We must end unnecessary arrests and end disparity in enforcement,” de Blasio commented on Twitter. 
The Manhattan district attorney's office, which represents the city's largest borough, says it will no longer file charges in most marijuana possession and smoking cases, according to a statement released by District Attorney Cy Vance.  - Forbes
According to a study done back in 2016, it is estimated that 39% of people incarcerated in both state and Federal prisons are there for non-violent (victimless) drug offenses.  And not only does this create tens of billions of dollars in unnecessary costs each year, but the ultimate price comes in the number of ruined lives that should never have occurred in the first place.

There is an old saying that goes you cannot legislate morality.  And at least for New York City, we may be hopefully seeing the start of a trend which could end the imprisoning of individuals who have done nothing more than choose to consume a substance that is very quickly becoming legal across the nation.

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