New Yorkers Are Systematically Screwed By "Public View" Marijuana Law. These Are Their Stories (Part One)
In an effort to persuade New York lawmakers to support Governor Andrew Cuomo's push to decriminalize "public view" marijuana arrests, a drug policy group has started a video campaign to illustrate how people are getting screwed by a loophole in the Marijuana Reform Act, which supposedly decriminalized weed in the Empire State in 1979.
As it stands, if you're busted with weed in private, you've committed a violation that's about as serious a crime as a parking ticket. However, if you're caught with weed in public, it's a misdemeanor. The loophole has led to the disproportionate arrests of young minorities (of the roughly 50,000 people arrested each year in New York for low-level marijuana offenses, 87 percent are black or Hispanic).
The Drug Policy Alliance has put together a 15-part series of interviews with people explaining how they were screwed by the "public view" portion of New York's marijuana law. Hear the stories of "Andre" and "Colyssa" below -- and check back tomorrow for the next installment New Yorker's Screwed By "Public View" Weed Laws.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.