Over the last 20 years New York has become the marijuana arrest capital of the world. Additionally, in recent years, we have seen several high profile killings of people of color by police where marijuana has been cited as a justification for police interaction. This talk will address the following question: With the costs of marijuana prohibition (financial and otherwise) continuously rising to exceed the benefits, is it finally time for us to take a new approach to dealing with this substance? This is a discussion will take an in depth look at marijuana reform efforts in New York State and will center racial justice and criminal justice reform as the framework for change.

Chris is a policy coordinator with the New York Policy Office of the Drug Policy Alliance.