The Drug Policy Alliance is producing powerful videos about people who have been entrapped by the NYPD on pot possession charges using a "stop-and-frisk" stunt.
[Video Link] Andre was charged with criminal possession of marijuana burning in public view in December of 2011 after being illegally searched by the police while walking with his friend. While his friend possessed a small amount of marijuana in his shoe, Andre didn't have any marijuana but was still falsely charged and illegally arrested for burning marijuana in public. Andre, who has no prior record, took his case to trial and was found not guilty of smoking marijuana in public view. Although many people arrested for marijuana possession are charged with crimes they did not commit, most do not fight their charges in court because of the laborious process of navigating the criminal justice system.
[Video Link] Colyssa was charged with criminal possession marijuana burning in public view and child endangerment when the police falsely charged and arrested her for smoking marijuana in front of her house in December of 2011. Six months later, Colyssa is still fighting her cases in court has not regained custody of her baby. Collateral consequences such as getting evicted from public housing, losing access to financial aid for school, or losing or being denied a job, and even deportation are common occurrences that happen after the arrest takes place.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.
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