January 10, 2013, New York –In response to Governor Cuomo’s proposal in his State of the State address to reform the state’s marijuana laws, Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vincent Warren issued the following statement:
We commend Governor Cuomo for his renewed commitment to addressing one of the leading causes of improper stop-and-frisk-related arrests by decriminalizing the ‘open view’ of small quantities of marijuana. The governor is right that New York must fix the disparity in the law, the consequences of which overwhelming affect Black and Latino individuals. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called on the state to make exactly this reform in its report last year Stop and Frisk: The Human Impact.Bringing parity to the state’s marijuana law will not fix the underlying problems of the NYPD’s racially discriminatory and unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices, but it will help reduce the harm and some of the abuses that stem from them. We welcome this reform as a step in the right direction, and look forward to working with the governor and others to get it done and bring about the day when all unlawful stops and frisks are ended.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.