Across the United States and in New York, the tide is turning against marijuana prohibition, but resolutions to deal with collateral consequences for noncitizen immigrants remain stalled. As marijuana reform has progressed, reforms to the immigration system have not.
On November 15th, the Start SMART NY with host a community conversation about how we can use marijuana reform as a platform to increase safety and security for noncitizen immigrants.
The community discussion will focus on how marijuana enforcement is particularly troubling for immigrant communities amid the broader federal attack on immigrants, since simple marijuana possession was the fourth most common offense among people who were deported nationally.
The conversation will address how legalizing marijuana provides one avenue to reduce police targeting of immigrant communities and shield immigrants from the harsh collateral consequencesof marijuana arrests.
“With Trump’s aggressive campaign against immigrants, many NY elected officials, including Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, have used strong rhetoric in defense of New York’s immigrant community. One concrete way to protect immigrants would be to legalize marijuana, which would stop these outrageous arrests and the deportations that result,” said Chris Alexander, policy coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Legalizing marijuana would benefit all New Yorkers, but especially youth of color and non-citizens, who are among the most vulnerable to the collateral consequences associated with these low-level arrests.”
What: Discussion: Marijuana Policing and the Impact on Immigrants
When: Wednesday, November 15, 6:30pm – 8pm
Where: Columbia Law School, 435 W 116th Street New York, New York
- Marie Mark, Immigrant Defense Project
- Ben Ndugga-Kabuye, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
- Kumar Rao, Center for Popular Democracy
- Anthony Posada, Legal Aid Society
- Verónica Bayetti Flores, Mijente
- Chris Alexander, Drug Policy Alliance
- Opening remarks by Nelson Guerrero, Founder, Cannabis Cultural Association
Start SMART NY is the campaign to reform New York’s marijuana laws convened by the Drug Policy Alliance in partnership with Latino Justice, Empire State NORML, VOCAL-NY, Cannabis Cultural Association, and the Immigrant Defense Project.