“More people are arrested in New York City on charges of possessing small amounts of marijuana than on any other crime on the books. Nearly all are black or Latino males under the age of 25, most with no previous convictions. Many have never been arrested before. . .
Hakeem Jeffries, a Democratic member of the State Assembly from Brooklyn, said the arrests were an outgrowth of the aggressive program of stop-and-frisks in nonwhite neighborhoods. “When these young people are stopped, they’re told, ‘Empty your pockets; show us everything you have,’ ” Mr. Jeffries said. “They take out a small quantity of marijuana, the cuffs are immediately put on. If it remained in their pocket, it would be a violation, like a traffic ticket.””
— From A Call to Shift Policy on Marijuana, by Jim Dwyer (New York Times, June 14, 2011)
New Yorkers for Health & Safety Campaign is a collaborative campaign between Center for NuLeadership, Drug Policy Alliance and VOCAL-NY to educate New Yorkers about the cause and impact of failed drug policies and remove criminal penalties for marijuana; provide training to New Yorkers to better understand the law and their rights in the course of a police encounter and advocate for more effective drug policies, for better programs and services for youth and young people, and for more equitable and accountable police/community relations.
Along with our allies, we have and will continue to pursue a three-pronged strategy to implement a public health and safety-based approach to understanding and addressing drug use that is more effective, ecological, sensible and humane. The three pronged approach entails:
- supporting the marijuana decriminalization bill (S.3105A – Squadron/A.6716A – Camara), while developing a public health model for addressing drug use/addiction;
- building a localized and more equitable neighborhood-based infrastructure for police-community relation and accountability; and
- empowering youth in targeted communities through rights and leadership training for them to become Human Justice ambassadors and change agents.
** We are raising funds for a full-fledged training for trainers academy that trains youth and young adults from impacted neighborhoods to become Human Justice Ambassadors – which means you are equipped with legal, civic and advocacy resources/skills to educate and guide your peers and neighbors on concrete ways to build healthy and safe communities. If you can donate to help sponsor a 3-month long training for trainers of up to ten Human Justice ambassadors (for a budget of $30,000), please click here! Thank you for helping to build Human Justice!
NYFHS campaign updates and background information
Sadly, the 2013 legislative session ended without the Senate passing the marijuana decriminalization bill (S.3105A – Squadron/A.6716A – Camara) that NYFHS supported. But the work is just beginning and we want you to join us not only ending illegal and racially biased arrests, but in building community solutions that matter and work in the short and long-run!
In the meanwhile, please join us by:
1) Reading up on the factsheets and articles below for background information on the campaign and issue and visiting our campaign partner, Drug Policy Alliance’s website which has even more info – videos, resources, reports and articles! Go to http://www.drugpolicy.org/NYarrestvideos to watch excellent videos on the topic and go to http://www.drugpolicy.org/ny-arrests to access reports and articles on ending the marijuana arrest crusade!
2) Hosting/inviting us to conduct our very popular, interactive and powerful Know Your Rights, Build Your Future! workshop at your school, organization, library or church! Click below to download and fill out the request form and let’s get it started!
3) Signing up to receive information on upcoming events, meetings and updates on the campaign!
FACTSHEETS & REPORTS