According to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, 70 percent of the 50,383 arrests for possession of marijuana in New York City in 2010 were of young people under 30, and 86 percent of those arrested were black and Latino. The debate on the classification of marijuana possession as a crime is heating up nationwide even as the number of arrests in New York has risen. Many substance abuse professionals, public officials and community anti-crime activists support a drug enforcement strategy that includes “broken windows” policing and drug treatment. Others question whether this is worth the cost, including the criminal convictions that can damage young people’s prospects for education and jobs. Is it time for change, or not?
A conversation with:
Dan Donovan, Staten Island District Attorney
Oma S. Holloway, Director of Career Services, The Door – A Center of Alternatives
Noah Kass, LMSW and Clinical Director, Realization Center, Inc
Jenay Nurse, Criminal Defense Attorney, Bronx Defenders
Gabriel Sayegh, New York State Director for Drug Policy Alliance
Cindy Rodriguez, WNYC
This event was supported by the Sirus Fund and the Milano Foundation.