|June 4th, 2020
On the anniversary of the loss of our former colleague, activist and friend, Doug Greene – NYC NORML, Empire State NORML, Long Island NORML, & Roc NORML feels it is important to address the recent events and Developments following the death of George Floyd.
Unpunished bad policing in the face of public observation and outrage, deteriorates faith in the system that we are told to trust. Public servants are supposed to inspire respect, order and encourage community. We instead are struck by the blatant hypocrisy behind the mantra of “Protecting and Serving”. In the wake of the death of George Floyd, justice, community, and order have neither been protected or well served. Inaction in the face of injustice damages the fabric of our trust in the system. So, we hope to see more officers police their own ranks and act upon injustices within their departments, in recognition of the difficult path that lies ahead.
As public interest organizations, we not only wish we spoke sooner, but pushed for positive change sooner. We stand for Black Lives, we stand for George Floyd, we stand with every peaceful protester in the state that is fed up with the systemic racial injustice issue that seems to permeate many police departments. Many within our community have long suffered the unjust and unequal culture of cannabis enforcement that systemically targets and incarcerates marginalized citizens for minor cannabis infractions. Cannabis legalization may not be the end all fix – we need to re-educate law enforcement to police without racial discrimination or disparity. More importantly, we must collectively impart change on an enforcement culture that encourages over-exerting its powers on communities of color.
Everyday our message gains greater importance and yields greater success, but we still have a long way to go. Until we have a colorblind cannabis enforcement policy, we ask that you please exercise caution, be safe and community minded, think before you re-act, and channel your energy into ensuring that we walk out of this together – and better. We may better ourselves and our society through this coming election cycle, focusing our attention towards representatives that act upon our needs and seek to correct the disparities and disregard that allow for these murders of innocents to persist.
As we continue to endure a global pandemic, please remember to wear your mask and take the necessary precautions to prevent further spread of the virus to other citizens who may be at risk. Be well, and stay hopeful.
Board of Directors,
Empire State NORML
Long Island NORML
P.S. If you are financially able, we suggest that you contribute to the various civil rights organizations listed below, that have been on the front lines towards these atrocities – and make sure you are registered to vote. If you have any questions towards which organizations to donate to, or how to register to vote, contact firstname.lastname@example.org; or email@example.com.