Having weed in your pocket while black
This isn’t as much of an issue for me, since I generally pass on the grass, and since I don’t live anywhere where you have to do a lot of walking around. (Fuck that shit!) But if you’re a black kid and you live in New York, you might seriously want to think twice about walking around with weed in your pocket.
As it turns out (and perhaps this isn’t news to some of you), one of the main ways the NYPD fucks with black people in New York – other than shooting them 50 times for trying to drive home drunk from the strip club – is busting people for walking around with weed in their pockets.
A story in the Village Voice the other day has all the grim statistics about how widespread this has gotten (it’s actually even worse now than it was during the Giuliani administration), and the disproportionate effect it’s had on black people despite the fact that black kids don’t even fuck with weed like white kids do.
Especially with the state the economy is in these days.
Here, I’ll excerpt the operative bit, though, if you’re especially committed to learning, you might even consider reading the entire thing. It contains vital information for the type of people I assume read this site.
More people get arrested for misdemeanor pot possession in Bloomberg’s New York—about 35,700 a year, or 97 per day—than in any other city in the U.S. and “almost certainly” the world, says the author of a new study. […]
Drug surveys routinely indicate that a higher percentage of whites smoke pot than blacks or Latinos, but [the author of the study] found that African-Americans have consistently accounted for about 52 percent of these low-level marijuana arrests over the past decade, even though they’re only about 26 percent of the city’s population. Latinos, at 27 percent of the total population, account for 31 percent of the arrests. Whites are 36 percent of the population but account for only 15 percent of pot arrests.
The way it works is, the cops will see someone who looks suspicious, or who they claim looks suspicious, and they’ll go over and fuck with them. A stop and frisk, they call it, And if, during the course of a stop and frisk, they can get you to pull some weed out of your pocket, they’ll lock your ass up.
Here’s the thing though, and this was a shock to me, since I’m not one of these who stays extra up to date on weed laws: it’s hardly that illegal to walk around in New York with a little bit of weed in your pocket. As long as it’s under 25 grams (and I’m not sure if this is a lot of weed or not – I’d imagine it’s enough to get a decent buzz on), they’re just supposed to give you a ticket and be done with it. Like if you’re a kid and you’re out past curfew, where I grew up.
The crime most of these insane number of people who are getting locked up for weed in New York are getting charged with is having weed out in plain sight. Like, if you were actually standing out on the street smoking a bowl. (Or if you’re black, smoking a blunt – right?) But the fucked up thing about it is, these people aren’t actually smoking weed in the street. Or at least most of them aren’t.
Most of these people just had some weed in their pockets, which the cops tricked them into pulling out by asking them what they had in their pockets. At which point the cops then charged them with having weed out in plain sight and locked them up, rather than just giving them a ticket for possession.
I suppose one strategy, if you absolutely have to walk around with weed in your pocket (like, if you’re going over a girl’s house who’ll fuck you if you give her some weed), is to explain to the officer that you have some weed in your pocket, but you’re not about to pull it out, since you’re not trying to go to jail. Like Jay-Z in “99 Problems.”
However, I wonder what’s the likelihood of anyone actually getting away with some shit like that in an age when 41 has now become 50. What’s next, are they gonna start strapping grenades to black people and blowing them the fuck up?
At any rate, this is definitely some fucked up shit. As the story in the Village Voice points out, not only does it suck having to go to jail just for having a little weed in your pocket, but it also fucks up a lot of people’s records. Which makes it that much more difficult for them to go to school, and find a job and what have you.
It makes you wonder if this is just a matter of racist cops trying to look busy, or if there’s something even more sinister at play. What do you fruits think? Speak on it.