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Media Advisory
April 25, 2008

 

Contact:
Nicolas Eyle, 315-422-6231

 

The Committee on Drugs and the Law
presents
New York City’s Marijuana Arrest Policy
Thirty Years After Decriminalization

When:       Wednesday, April 30, 2008; 6:30 p.m.
Where:      New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.)

In 1977, New York State decriminalized possession of personal use amounts of marijuana. Nonetheless, researchers report that New York City is now the national leader in detaining individuals for possession of personal use amounts of marijuana.

Beginning with the advent of quality of life policing, the New York City Police Department dramatically increased the number of arrests for marijuana possession: from 1997 to 2006 the Department arrested over 353,000 people for misdemeanor possession of marijuana; in 2006 alone it arrested 33,000 people for possessing marijuana. The Department also commonly holds marijuana possession arrestees in detention for up to 24 hours pending arraignment.

Published research indicates that the marijuana possession arrests are not in central business districts, and that the police primarily make the arrests in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Join the Committee on Drugs and the Law for a discussion of the costs and benefits of New York City’s marijuana possession arrest policy. This event is free and open to the public.
 
Moderator:
JOHN H. MCWHORTER
Senior Fellow, The Manhattan Institute; Columnist, New York Sun

Panelists:
JOHN A. ETERNO, PH.D.
Chairperson and Graduate Program Director, Department of Criminal Justice, Molloy College
Managing Editor, Police Practice and Research
NYPD Captain (ret.)

BRUCE D. JOHNSON, PH.D.
Director, Institute for Special Populations Research, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.

HARRY G. LEVINE, PH.D.
Professor of Sociology, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

EDWARD D. MCCARTHY, J.D.
Criminal Defense Division, Legal Aid Society of New York

DEBORAH P. SMALL, J.D.
Executive Director, Break the Chains

Sponsored by:
Committee on Drugs and the Law, Noah Potter, Chair

Co-Sponsored by:
Committee on Corrections, Judith M. Whiting, Chair

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association (www.nycbar.org) was founded in 1870, and since then has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the profession, promoting reform of the law, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.

 

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