New York City Finally Sees Reduction in Marijuana Arrests
Bi-Partisan Group of Governors Call on President Obama to Re-Schedule Marijuana
Keep NORML In Mind for End-of-Year Charitable Giving
Recent Action Alerts:
Wisconsin Legislature to Consider Medical Marijuana Measure
Tell The Obama Administration to Halt Its Attack on Medical Marijuana
Tell Your Representatives to Co-Sponsor HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011
New York, NY: The shift away from arresting minor marijuana offenders in New York City, announced as a “clarification” on September 19, 2011 by New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, appears to be having the desired effect. Prior to the announcement, city police were regularly arresting those with small amounts of marijuana in their possession, although state law defines the private possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a $100 civil fine. But smoking in public or possessing it publicly remains a misdemeanor with a possible 3 months in jail and a $500 fine.
Figures released by the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services show that in 2010, the New York City Police Department arrested 50,383 people for low-level marijuana offenses. Arrests for low-level marijuana possession offenses are the number one arrest in New York City, making up 15 percent of all arrests. On average, nearly 140 people are arrested every day for marijuana possession in NYC, making the Big Apple the “Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World.”
Arrests for low-level marijuana possession fell 13% in the city in the weeks after the police commissioner cautioned officers not to bust people for small amounts of the drug found in pockets or bags, according to department data released Wednesday. Department figures show 1,190 fewer arrests were made in the nine weeks since the order, compared with the same period a year earlier.
More than 85 percent of those arrested for marijuana in New York City are blacks and Latinos in the poorest neighborhoods where the highest rates of stop-and-frisk occur, despite usage rates among the three groups being essentially the same.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.
Olympia, WA: A number of governors from states that have legalized the medical use of marijuana are calling on President Obama to reschedule marijuana federally, to avoid the current conflict with state and federal law.
Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Democrat Governors Christine Gregoire of Washington, and Peter Shumlin of Vermont have petitioned the federal government to reschedule marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act from Schedule I to Schedule II, which would permit the drug to be prescribed by physicians as a medicine.
“What we have here on the ground is chaos,” said Governor Gregoire., adding that patients “who … either feel like they’re criminals or may be engaged in some criminal activity, and really are legitimate patients who want medical marijuana.”
Connecticut Democrat Governor Daniel Malloy has said he will also be joining the group of governors petitioning the federal government.
Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado has announced that he will be making a similar request to the Obama administration prior to January 1, 2012, as required by state law.
Rescheduling marijuana to a lower schedule under federal law would not authorize medical marijuana dispensaries, such as those that exist under state law in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Maine, and that have been authorized in a handful of additional states, but it would begin the process of making marijuana available from licensed pharmacists.
For more information, please contact NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup at email@example.com.
Keep NORML In Mind for End-of-Year Charitable Giving
Washington, DC: As we approach the end of the year, most Americans give some consideration to making charitable contributions to help others, contributions that can be taken as a tax deduction on one’s 2011 federal and state tax returns.
Donations to the NORML Foundation, a 501(c3) educational foundation, fully qualify for a tax-deductible charitable contribution. The Foundation was established in 1997 to better educate the public about marijuana and marijuana policy options, and to assist victims of the current laws.
“For four decades NORML and the NORML Foundation have relied on contributions from supportive individuals to fund our work, and that support is especially important as we head into the New Year,” said NORML and NORML foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre. “I urge those who support the full legalization of marijuana for adults, regardless of why they smoke, to make a generous end-of-the-year donation today to the NORML Foundation.”
Donations of appreciated stock can maximize one’s giving and tax-planning efficiency.
Contributions can be made online at the following location:
To make a major gift of cash, stocks or in-kind donations of goods or services (i.e., a retailer who is a NORML supporter just donated 1,000 odorless backpacks to the organization for fundraising!), please contact NORML’s executive director Allen St. Pierre at 202-483-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org