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 story of James Crowder below