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Here is another fabulous example of why marijuana (cannabis) needs to be legalized and regulated.

It's New York - do cops there just not have enough real crime to deal with that they have to "manufacture" crimes in order to harass people - particularly people of color?

Apparently not

Police officers in New York are “manufacturing” criminal offenses by forcing people with small amounts of marijuana to reveal their drugs, according to a survey by public defenders.
New York is ACTUALLY trying to do the right thing, or as close to the right thing as we can expect out of America currently, but the COPS are standing ferociously in the way.

More on the flip

The report uses an example of a young Latino man stopped and harassed by the NYPD who searched him initially, found nothing to make them happy, hauled him down to the precint, strip searched him and finally found $20 worth of the Evil Weed. He was held for 12 hours.

The revelations will fuel criticisms of the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, which opponents say is criminalising a generation of young people from ethnic minorities and leading to tensions between police and the public.

Scott Levy, an attorney campaigner at the Bronx Defenders, the legal and advocacy organization that led the survey, said: “This is clearly an illegal practice. And the fact that it hasn’t stopped since Commissioner Kelly issued his memo, suggests there is a deep disconnect between what happens on the street and what the top brass in the NYPD are saying happens.”

What it reflects is REEFER MADNESS on the part of the cops.

And it reflects - CLEARLY - the racist underpinning of reefer madness.

The execution of Ramarley Graham. is the latest and most recent savage incident, but the NYPD arrrests and hassles so many minorities and young people of any color other than white that it just doesn't make it into the news. They are cresited with making 50000 marijuana related arrests, 30000 just off traffic stops they have made just looking for trouble.

Graph of statistics at Village Voice | NYPD Arrests for Marijuana Soar in 2011, Second Highest on Record
The NYPD claims their aggressive. reefer-mad stop and frisk policy saves lives, excpet, of course, when they shoot people to death for marijuana possession, as they did to Ramarly Graham.

As the NYPD has arguably clearly thumbed its nose at the recent mandates to curtail this aggressive 'stop and frisk policy' a civilian review board has been given 'expanded powers'.

The city on Tuesday gave broad authority to the Civilian Complaint Review Board to prosecute police misconduct cases, a significant shift that comes as the department faces criticism over its street tactics and handling of mass protests.
I say this reflects police bias as part of the larger "culture war': marijuana AND protesting the status quo are linked in the cop mind, which is clearly expressing rightwing values: Marijuana is terrorism, protests are terrorism, and non-whites are bad.

Furthermore, the police escalation of these actions in light of the recent memo/mandate to curtail this aggression essentially says "we dare you to stop us".

As a brief aside that highlights the larger culture war the cops are waging (with your tax dollar): Documents show NYPD infiltrated liberal groups and in one instance reported in that article, the NYPD sent agents all the way to New Orleans to infiltrate a peaceful protest group. It's a somewhat lengthy report but ends with the observation

"From their perspective, they need to spy on peaceful groups so they're not effective at putting out their peaceful message," he said. "They are threatened by anything challenging the status quo."
Back to the topic at hand, the WaPo Citizen Review Board  (linked above) goes on to report:
The NYPD has come under fire in recent months for its stop and frisk policy, which involves stopping people who police say raised suspicion of a crime. There were more than 684,000 stops in 2011, a record. Mr. Kelly has defended the practice, saying it has reduced crime and taken guns and drugs off the streets. But critics say minorities, who account for almost 90% of the stops, are unfairly targeted.
Again, the racist underpinnings of marijuana prohibition and the 'war on drugs' is very clearly shown: 90% of their stop and frisk targets are non-white.

If that doesn't say racist, I am unsure what does.

But by waging this rightwing culture war under the umbrella of the 'war on drugs' fewer people seem to be motivated to say as much because, as you know, marijuana prohibition just isn't important, despite the money and lives it wastes.

This indifference assists and encourages police to operate with complete impunity.

It also shows how the war on drugs and the war on terror are connected and reinforce 'racial profiling'.

Racial profiling might....MIGHT... have been useful in the war on terror had it not have been totally abused by the war on drug's racist motivations, but it's just institutionalized racism now.

The numbers show it clearly.

And that war on marijuana that you think just isn't important enough to do anything about fuels this racist police impunity.

Originally posted to DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 08:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group.

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