Buffalo Marijuana Arrests Seem to Target African-Americans [NEWS REPORT]
Let's start this conversation with a look at something I found on Wikipedia:
In 1977, New York decriminalized possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana, to an infraction with a $100 fine. However, possession in public view remained a misdemeanor, and civil rights advocates stated that this was used as a loophole to unfairly arrest. A New York Times editorial noted in 2012:
Marijuana arrests declined after passage of the 1977 law, but that changed in the 1990s. Between 1997 and 2010, the city arrested 525,000 people for low-level, public-view possession, according to a legislative finding. Lawmakers and civil rights lawyers are rightly outraged that more than 80 percent of those arrested in the city are black and Latino, despite substantial data showing that whites are more likely to use the drug.
So let me summarize some of what's revealed above: (according to Wikipedia)
In 1977, New York State decriminalized having 25 grams or less of marijuana to an infraction and a $100 Fine.
Now this stat from Smart-NY.com
From 1993 to 1997, the year before and year after Bill Bratton’s first term as NYPD Police Commissioner, there was a 1,141% increase in arrests for low-level marijuana possession, 5 a trend that would begin a period known as the “marijuana arrest crusade.” Over the next twenty years the NYPD arrested nearly 700,000 people6 for an offense that the state legislature had already decriminalized only two decades earlier.However, check this stat out from Smart-NY.com:
Now skip ahead another 20 years to 2016 and here's another confusing stat (according to Smart-NY.com)
In 2016, Black people represented 70 percent of arrests for marijuana possession in Erie County, which includes Buffalo, despite only representing 14 percent of the population.
Something obviously wrong here. How do you decriminalize low level possession of weed in 1977 with merely a $100 Fine and then some 20 - 40 Years later see these types of stats?
There are obviously some blatant racial disparities here within the numbers and stats ... (short of screaming RACISM).
Last week, WGRZ's Claudia Ewing did a very impressive and revealing expos'e regarding the above information's impact on the Queen City