Above are three videos about unlawful cannabis related arrests, the first two, victims’ tales, and the third, NYS Assemblymen Hakeem Jeffries, who lends perspective to what amounts to classic entrapment, thousands of cases per year, that are rubber stamped by the judicial system. Perhaps most disturbing is that both victims, who were both arrested and cuffed and put through the system, did not smoke or possess any cannabis at all. The racial aspect must also be found disturbing by any rational mind. Lesser quantity cannabis crimes are exclusively sought by the NYPD, and every other PD in America, only in black and Latino neighborhoods, only in lower socio-economic sectors.
A lot to say here, and we don’t wish to muck it up with the usual avalanche of machine gun fire, as spraying ammo will surely dilute this most important cause. The first reaction for anyone cannabis friendly at yesterday’s news of Governor Cuomo’s plan to decriminalize lesser quantities had to be a joyous one, for selfish reasons. But let’s be real. We white people, off in the burbs, or in the smart part of town, are far removed from the front lines where people actually get arrested for cannabis. Can we not smoke all the live long day, on the street, without so much as one cop rolling by…for weeks on end?
God bless Governor Cuomo and all but the man is only saving himself and the state the expense of one hell of a class action lawsuit. So 83% of the illegal arrests are comprised of black and Latin peoples. We are surprised that number is so low. Because all the arrests are going down on Malcolm X Boulevard, not on John Calvin Boulevard. How did the other 17%, whites, Chinese and other, get swept up? Why, they went to the ghetto so they must have been there to buy herb, of course.
And so operates your big city PD. Lying, racial profiling, full blooded racist tyranny, every way you can possibly slice it. So this new measure of Cuomo’s isn’t about cannabis at all, really, as much as it is about racial profiling. To save the city from racist cops, we must reduce the purview of racist cops. We must give them less license to stop people. For anything. And we’ll happily start with cannabis, thank you very much. And it does get the movement a step closer to where it needs to be, but this here news is about racism, not weed. Though the esteemed Assemblyman makes an excellent point about how the act of carrying the weed becomes an arrestable offense when you take it out of your pocket on the order of the police.
A friend of ours, and one of the smartest criminal lawyers we know, M. Chris Fabricant, author of Busted!, which is of biblical proportions, or should be, to anyone in the scene, once told me what to do if I was ever getting arrested and the advice has stuck and resonates the much more seeing these http://www.drugpolicy.org videos. Chris told us that our only hope, the only hope, when in this situation, is to put your hands up high where everyone can see them and declare, on the top of your lungs, “I DO NOT CONSENT TO AN UNLAWFUL SEARCH!” To say it over and over and make sure that someone hears you. A decent judge is going to consider giving you a pass for an unlawful search and seizure. By not taking the drugs out yourself, you have not shown the drug in public, which is the actual offense, since lesser quantities are already down to ticketable offenses, carrying small fines as penalties.
But again, let’s be real. Is the judge throwing out many illegal searches that go down on Malcolm X Boulevard? The second video, of the man who happened to be walking with a guy who had weed in his shoe, said it correctly when he said that really, we have no rights at all. Even if you do have weed in your shoe, what has tipped the authorities so that they may bum rush you on a public street? The only possible signs would be racially stereotyped. Baggy clothes, off tilt baseball hat, skin color, and the worst of all, just because you happened to be where you are at. Being in the “high intensity crime zone” in itself is essentially reason enough to stop a person. Until they change the law.
We have to thank Ethan Nadelmann, Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, for bringing our attention to these videos, and for being the hot button man on topics such as these now for many, many years. While we have not yet met the man ourselves, our good friends Sasha and Ann Shulgin have sung his praises, along with MAPS founder Rick Dobin, and we’d consider the two men the leaders in the fight against the war on drugs. They put the truth out there and that’s hard to refute. Everyone in the community should follow Mr. Nadelmann on Twitter in the very least, and join MAPS at your earliest convenience.
Be Active, Smart, and Careful!