Dr. King’s dream lives on in NYC’s Community Safety Act

Avinash Tharoor

Fifty years ago, in August 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King profoundly addressed the nation to demand justice and equality for racial minorities. Despite the huge changes that have occurred since then, people of colour still face discrimination and prejudice in many ways, including with the New York Police Department’s implementation of drug laws.

New York City is the marijuana arrest capital of the world – with almost half a million people being arrested for marijuana possession since Bloomberg assumed office in 2002. The vast majority of these arrests – 87 per cent – were of Black and Latino individuals, despite data indicating that people of colour and White people have a similar rate of marijuana use.

Dr. King asserted that “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream”. Yesterday, the New York City Council helped those waters flow; Mayor Bloomberg’s veto…

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