Press Releases

City Bar Applauds City and State Announcements of Policy Changes Towards Marijuana Enforcement

Marijuana prohibition is a costly and ineffective policy that has devastated families and communities, eroded respect for the law, and strained police-citizen relations. The New York City Bar Association applauds announcements made this week by State and City officials that should contribute to reversing the negative effects of marijuana criminalization. The New York State Department of Health announcement that it will be recommending that the State allow adults to consume marijuana legally is a welcome development and a policy recommendation shared by the City Bar. We look forward to seeing the results of the Department’s study, which we hope will lay important groundwork towards eventual legalization. We also believe that the decision of the de Blasio Administration and the NYPD to issue summonses instead of arrests for most individuals found smoking marijuana publicly is a step in the right direction. The City Bar has long called for a shift in marijuana enforcement, which has a disparate impact on black and Hispanic individuals and consumes a significant portion of limited criminal justice system resources that could be better used elsewhere. The City and State are taking thoughtful and deliberate steps towards preparing New York for marijuana legalization, a much needed shift in New York’s drug policy.

The City Bar supports the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which would create a system for the production, distribution and adult non-medical use of marijuana in New York State.

Read our report here.

About the Association

The mission of the New York City Bar Association, which was founded in 1870 and has 24,000 members, is to equip and mobilize the legal profession to practice with excellence, promote reform of the law, and uphold the rule of law and access to justice in support of a fair society and the public interest in our community, our nation, and throughout the world.