On Tuesday, March 16th at 10am the Black Freedom Project, a collective of Black organizers across New York State, will hold a Zoom meeting (register here) to discuss marijuana legalization “that delivers equity and justice for Black New Yorkers.”
Black organizers across the state are speaking out about the lack of prioritization of Black communities in Gov. Cuomo’s proposed legalization bill despite the clear racial disparities in arrests.
Roughly 95% of all marijuana arrests, violations, and stops are of Black and Latinx people in New York City. Similarly, statewide Black and Latinx people make up 75% of all arrests, violations, and stops.
Other provisions of Cuomo’s proposal such as criminalizing home cultivation, the lack of comprehensively addressing the harms of prohibition (in child welfare, housing, employment, immigration, and other lifelong consequences), and failure to include an equitable percentage of revenue for social equity and community reinvestment explicitly ignore the historical violence the war on drugs had on Black communities.
With new information on a possible three-way negotiation on a final legislation, organizers will articulate their priorities that should be included in the final legislation if we are to repair the generations of harm done to Black communities.
Speakers on the Zoom meeting include:
L.Joy Williams, Political Strategist, President of Brooklyn NAACP
Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson, AD31
Assemblymember Latrice Walker, AD55
Assemblymember Chantel Jackson, AD79
Anne Oredeko, Supervising Attorney, Racial Justice Unit of The Legal Aid Society
Anthonine Pierre, Deputy Director Brooklyn Movement Center
Nia Adams, The Long Island Progressive Coalition
Stanley Fritz, New York State Political Director, Citizen Action New York
Mikila Thompson (gender justice)
Yusuf Abdul-Qadir, Syracuse Police and Accountability Coalition
Saki Fenderson, Tainted Love Bk
Imani Dawnson, Principal TCC Media
India Walton, Buffalo Community Organizer