Mayor de Blasio and a number of top prosecutors and elected officials in New York City have sworn to completely overhaul law enforcement’s targeting of Black and Latin individuals. His plan is to decriminalize marijuana in a way that redirects Police attention elsewhere. The Drug Policy Alliance & Marijuana Arrest Research Project published findings that relayed a startling number of marijuana arrest in the city, all taking up far too much space and energy in the crowded system. Of the 17,000 arrests in NYC last year, 86% pertained to minor charges of Black and Latin individuals.
The plan, still in the proto-phase, is contingent on where law-makers choose draw the line between criminal and non-criminal. The plan won’t likely interfere in the manner in which Police Officers conduct “stop and frisk” operations where they see fit. The hope is that policy change will be pervasive enough to change Police Work, Public Perception, and more ambitiously, the treatment of drug laws across the nation. New York and the state California exert a great influence on the way policy gets passed down from state to state.
De Blasio’s initial campaign push in 2013 included strong opposition to “stop and frisk.” Many in the city regard his two terms as a job-well done, as his ideas are often more far-reaching than his expected duties as an urban planner. New York City is after all, a city with more economic and political clout than many countries of the world. His order to NYC Police dept. across the five boroughs is hatch a plan within 30 days to “end unnecessary arrests.”