Art by Amber Silter
As attitudes toward marijuana continue to ease toward acceptance nationwide, New York City is jumping on the bandwagon ? or least, looking in its direction.
Though the substance remains illegal statewide, low-level possession of marijuana will no longer result in an arrest but rather a ticket.
This change would prove crucial in preventing individuals from seeing their lives needlessly upended as a result of an excessive arrest ? individuals like Anthony Welfare, who as The New York Times reported, lost his job after a police officer saw a pipe with a residue of marijuana, in a car in which Welfare was a passenger.
Welfare lost his job as a result ? even now, several months later with the charge dismissed and his record now clean, he hasn?t been hired back.
Such stories are too common, and too frustrating to be ignored.
And fortunately, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has directed his attention at the issue.
With the announcement of the new, more lenient policy toward marijuana possession, it?s clear that de Blasio and his administration have accepted that not all drug-related crimes merit an arrest ? especially when in some states, like Washington and Colorado, where said ?crimes? are now legal.
It?s an important development that helps shift the priorities of law enforcement toward more pressing matters, and is a critical change in helping to equalize the treatment of minorities in the city. read more >>