Tag: Mid-Atlantic

In Bid to Defend Marijuana Arrests, NYC Mayor de Blasio Attacks Drug Reformers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (Kevin Case/Flickr)

Last month, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) released a report noting that marijuana arrests under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continue to be marked by shocking racial disparities, much as they were under his predecessors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg.

Stung by the criticism, de Blasio is fighting back, but his response so far has consisted of attacking DPA as “legalizers” and comparing apples to oranges.

The DPA report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York, noted that while marijuana possession arrests are down under de Blasio from the grotesque numbers achieved under Giuliani (more than 40,000 arrests in 2001) or Bloomberg (more than 50,000 arrests in 2011), NYPD still arrested made more than 18,000 of them last year. A whopping 86% of them were black or brown, maintaining the racial disparities so apparent in earlier administrations.

That’s “a far cry from the Mayor’s pledge to rein in NYPD’s targeting of people of color,” charged DPA New York State Director Kassandra Frederique in the report. That de Blasio had managed to bring pot arrests down to an average of only 20,000 a year during his tenure shouldn’t be portrayed as progress, argued Frederique, instead describing it as “slower injustice, but slower injustice is still injustice delivered.”

De Blasio struck back last Friday, releasing a statement that called the DPA report “misleading” and attacked DPA as “a group committed to legalization.” De Blasio’s statement emphasized that marijuana arrests had dropped significantly under his administration — something DPA never disputed — but failed to address the claim of continuing racial disparities in arrests. Instead, it merely noted that because arrests were down overall, arrests of black and brown people were down, too.

But the takeaway sentence in de Blasio’s statement inadvertently makes DPA’s case:

As a result of this new policy, arrests for marijuana possession are down 37%  — from almost 29,000 in 2013 to approximately 18,000 in 2016. This has translated into approximately 9,600 fewer arrests of Black and Latino New Yorkers for marijuana possession in 2016 as compared to 2013.

In other words, a reduction of less than 11,000 total marijuana arrests between the two years resulted in about 9,600 people of color not being arrested. De Blasio’s own data and arguments show that the city’s minorities clearly take the brunt of marijuana law enforcement, his wriggling notwithstanding.

And now, DPA is returning fire at de Blasio.

“Mayor de Blasio is not disputing the data published in our report, he is trying to spin his poor record to look as though he has made some progress,” Frederique said Friday. “In reality, New York City was the marijuana arrest capital of the world under Bloomberg and still holds that dubious title under de Blasio today. The 18,000 arrests in 2016 alone and outrageous racial disparities are a disgrace to the city and a blight on the mayor’s record. The unjust and racially-targeted arrests are devastating black and Latino communities across the city.”

Frederique also applied some political ju-jitsu to de Blasio’s “legalizer” attack.

“The mayor’s efforts to discredit the report and the Drug Policy Alliance by calling us legalizers, is a desperate attempt to distract the public from the facts of his abysmal record. Our report is based on data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Rather than attack his critics, the mayor should attack the problem of racially-targeted arrests,” she said. “For the record, the Drug Policy Alliance is committed to marijuana legalization to increase access for patients and end targeted policing in communities of color. And we’re not alone; nearly 60% of Americans also support legalization.”

Instead of attacking critics, the mayor should fix the problem, Frederique added.

“It’s time for the mayor to get out of the spin cycle and back to work,” she prescribed. “The mayor must end the biased policing practices that have ruined the lives of so many young black and Latino New Yorkers now.”


This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Panel Recommends Adding 43 New Conditions

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey could soon expand its pool of patients eligible to participate in the states’ medical marijuana program.

The New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel has recommended the addition of 43 new conditions to the list of ailments that are approved for medical marijuana use in the state.

Following several months of studying petitions from patients, physicians and advocates, the the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel has recommended adding 43 new ailments, including variations of certain diseases and ailments, to the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

The recommended additional qualifying conditions include migraines, anxiety, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, opiate-use disorder, autism and Tourette syndrome.

The panel recommended against adding asthma and chronic fatigue as qualifying conditions, however.

The panel’s initial recommendations are now open for a 60-day comment period and will be addressed at a public hearing before being finalized and sent to the Health Commissioner who will make the final determination on petitions to add new conditions to the state’s medical marijuana program.

With the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) last year, the following conditions qualify for medical marijuana in New Jersey:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seizure and/or spasticity disorders
  • Any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year

An estimated 13,000 patients are currently registered to participate in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, which also includes five operating medical marijuana dispensaries across the state.

The state’s sixth and final dispensary, which was granted initial approval in 2011, is expected to finally open later this year.

Patients are allowed to purchase and possess up to two ounces of medical marijuana per month.

Home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Advocates to De Blasio: Address Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (Kevin Case/Flickr)

NEW YORK, NY — New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office published a statement this week disputing the findings of the Drug Policy Alliance report, “Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York.”

The report details that marijuana possession arrests under Mayor de Blasio continue to be marked by extremely high racial disparities, as was the case under the Bloomberg and Giuliani administrations.

Drug Policy Alliance New York State Director Kassandra Frederique issued the following statement in response:

Mayor de Blasio is not disputing the data published in our report, he is trying to spin his poor record to look as though he has made some progress.

In reality, New York City was the marijuana arrest capital of the world under Bloomberg and still holds that dubious title under de Blasio today.

The 18,000 arrests in 2016 alone and outrageous racial disparities are a disgrace to the city and a blight on the mayor’s record.

The unjust and racially-targeted arrests are devastating Black and Latino communities across the city.

The mayor’s efforts to discredit the report and the Drug Policy Alliance by calling us legalizers, is a desperate attempt to distract the public from the facts of his abysmal record. Our report is based on data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Rather than attack his critics, the mayor should attack the problem of racially-targeted arrests.

For the record, the Drug Policy Alliance is committed to marijuana legalization to increase access for patients and end targeted policing in communities of color. And we’re not alone; nearly 60 percent of Americans also support legalization.

It’s time for the mayor to get out of the spin cycle and back to work. Over the past two decades, more than 700,000 lives were irrevocably damaged by racially-targeted marijuana arrest policies.

The mayor must end the biased policing practices that have ruined the lives of so many young Black and Latino New Yorkers now.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Virginia Crime Commission Wants Public Comment on Marijuana Decriminalization

RICHMOND, VA — Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission are seeking written comments from the public with regard to the topic of decriminalizing marijuana possession.

The commission is studying the issue at the request of Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, who tasked members to “undertake a study examining a future change to the Code of Virginia regarding criminal penalties related to the possession of small amounts of marijuana.”

Members of the public may submit written comments to vsccinfo@vscc.virginia.gov until August 25, 2017.

The commission’s findings will be presented on October 5.

“Virginia lawmakers will now be able to introduce decriminalization in the General Assembly supported with the facts and conclusions of the decriminalization study,” representatives from Virginia NORML, who pushed for the task force, said in a statement.

Under Virginia law, the possession of one-half ounce of cannabis or less is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The number of Virginians arrested for violating the state’s marijuana possession laws rose 76 percent between 2003 and 2014.

African Americans in Virginia are arrested for violating marijuana possession laws at more than three times the rates of whites, according to an analysis of statewide arrest data published earlier this year.

Two proposals to decriminalize marijuana possession in Virginia failed to advance in the state legislature earlier this year.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

New Jersey Could Soon Expand Qualifying Conditions for Medicinal Marijuana

New Jersey Could Soon Expand Qualifying Conditions for Medicinal Marijuana | Drug Policy Alliance

TRENTON, NJ — On Tuesday, the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program Review Panel made initial recommendations to the Health Commissioner to approve chronic pain, migraine, anxiety and Tourette’s Syndrome as qualifying conditions for the medical marijuana program. “We are glad to see that the panel took the testimony of experts and the petitions of New […]

New Jersey Could Soon Expand Qualifying Conditions for Medicinal Marijuana | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Another City in Pennsylvania Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

YORK, PA — Another city in Pennsylvania has voted to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a fine-only offense.

Earlier this week, the York City Council voted to decriminalize the possession of under 30 grams of marijuana, reducing the penalty to a maximum fine of $100 and no jail time for first-time offenders.

A second offense within five years would result in a fine of $300, with a third carrying a $600 fine.  For those that can not afford to pay the fines, there is an option for offenders to perform community service instead.

Under state law, marijuana possession is a criminal misdemeanor that carried up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both.

York joins three of Pennsylvania’s largest cities — Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg — in reducing penalties for simple marijuana possession, adding support to advocates who are pushing for statewide decriminalization, a policy change that is supported by Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat.

Pennsylvania residents can contact their elected officials in Harrisburg via an email campaign set up by the Marijuana Policy Project. Those looking to become more active in reform efforts in the state can contact the Keystone Cannabis Coalition for more information.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

New York City: Minorities Still Arrested Disproportionately for Marijuana Violations

NEW YORK, NY — Eighty-seven percent of low level marijuana arrestees in New York City are either African Americans or Latinos, according to an analysis compiled by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project and published this week by the Drug Policy Alliance.

Researchers reported that New York City police officers made more than 60,000 arrests for minor marijuana violations during the first three years of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration (2014-2016) – even though he had previously called the practice “unjust and wrong.”

Of those arrested during this period, 49 percent were black, 38 percent were Latino, nine percent were white, and four percent were classified as either Asian or ‘other.’

Similar racial disparities among low level marijuana arrests existed under the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations.

Authors concluded, “In 2016, and for the last 30 years, the NYPD has had two very different patterns or systems of enforcement by race and ethnicity for the criminal offense of possessing small amounts of marijuana – separate, unequal, and unjust.”

Recent reviews of marijuana possession arrest data from New JerseyMaryland, and Virginia have identified similar trends. A 2013 American Civil Liberties Union study found that nationwide blacks are approximately four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, even though both ethnicities consume the substance at approximately similar rates.

Although New York state law classifies minor marijuana possession offenses as a non-criminal offense, separate penal law (NY State Penal Law 221.10) defines marijuana possession in a manner that is ‘open to public view’ as an arrestable offense.

Full text of the report, “Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York,” is available online.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Delaware Governor Signs Bill Making it Easier to Get Medical Marijuana for PTSD

DOVER, DE — Delaware residents suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, will now have an easier time obtaining medical marijuana to treat their symptoms.

While PTSD was already a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Delaware, Senate Bill 24, which was signed into law Wednesday by Governor John Carney, removes a requirement that patients needed to visit a psychiatrist in order to be certified for medical marijuana use.

Now, like patients suffering from other qualifying conditions, patients suffering from PTSD can now get their medical marijuana certification from any physician.

Senate Bill 24, also known as the Bravery Bill, was sponsored by Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington).  As introduced, the will would have also allowed patients suffering from anxiety disorders access to medical marijuana, but that language was removed from the final bill.

The change to Delaware’s medical marijuana law takes effect immediately.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Tale of Two New Yorks as NYPD Continues Discriminatory Marijuana Arrests

NEW YORK, NY — The Marijuana Arrest Research Project will release a major report Tuesday, commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance.

The report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York, shows that despite changing mayoral administrations and police commissioners, the NYPD continues to make large numbers of unjust and racially-targeted marijuana possession arrests.

Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign promise to end racially-biased policing, marijuana possession was New York City’s fourth most commonly charged criminal offense in 2016.

Black and Latino New Yorkers continue to comprise 85 percent of the more than 60,000 people arrested for low-level marijuana possession on Mayor de Blasio’s watch. Most people arrested are young Blacks and Latinos – even though studies consistently show young Whites use marijuana at higher rates.

The new report shows that the NYPD targets Blacks and Latinos for marijuana misdemeanor enforcement all over New York City. One key finding is that in many neighborhoods where Blacks and Latinos constitute a small minority of the residents, they are arrested in much higher numbers than Whites.

The NYPD arrests Black New Yorkers at 10 times the rate of Whites in Manhattan and 15 times the rate of Whites in Staten Island.

The report includes extensive analyses of marijuana arrest data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and demographic data for all five boroughs.

The full report will be released at noon Tuesday.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Delaware Lawmakers Establish Marijuana Legalization Task Force

Delaware Lawmakers Establish Marijuana Legalization Task Force | NORML

DOVER, DE — Lawmakers have approved a concurrent resolution establishing a 23-member task force to study issues specific to the regulation of marijuana and to make recommendations to the legislature. The Adult Use Cannabis Task Force will begin meeting in September and will issue a report to the General Assembly by January 31, 2018. Legislation to regulate the adult use […]

Delaware Lawmakers Establish Marijuana Legalization Task Force | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.