Public Service Advertisement Highlights Comprehensive Approach Being Taken by the State to Ensure Diversity in the New Industry
Raises Awareness on Historical Disproportionate Enforcement as New York Builds Adult Use Industry Centered on Addressing Harms Caused by Prohibition
NEW YORK: The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has released a public service advertisement to debut tonight during game one of the NBA Finals calling attention to the state’s goals of creating a diverse and inclusive industry and repairing harm d one during cannabis prohibition.
New York State has already expunged or suppressed almost 400,000 convictions for cannabis offenses and the OCM has launched a national model for prioritizing applicants impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition through its Seeding Opportunity Initiative . Announced by Governor Hochul on March 10, 2022, the Initiative positions successful businesses owners with a cannabis conviction, or their family members, to be the first to make adult– use cannabis retail sales i n New York with products grown by New York farmers.
The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), New York’s Cannabis Law, enacted March 31, 2021, sets a goal of delivering 50% of licenses to equity applicants, a group that includes individuals from communities highly impacted by the over criminalization of cannabis prohibition, including those with cannabis convictions, as well businesses owned by minorities and women, service-disabled veterans, and distressed farmers. The law was built on the premise that the racial disparity in enforcement caused sign ificant harms to these communities and those who call them home. The MRTA prioritizes addressing the harms of disparate arrests and generates resources to help revitalize communities hit hardest by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.
The advertisement released today is the first cannabis-related advertisement in the nation focusing on the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition to appear on broadcast television. It highlights the wide disparity in arrest rates for cannabis offenses for Black, Brown, and White New Yorkers during the 30 years prior to cannabis legalization. It states that Black people in New York were 15 times more likely to get arrested for cannabis than White people over the last 30 years; Latinos were 8 times more likely. Despite these disparities, data has shown that cannabis use among different races is essentially the same. The data points are based on New York State arrest data from 1990data from the U.S. Department of Health an 2020 and population d Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.
In sharing historical arrest data, the public service advertisement raises awareness of racial disparities in marijuana arrests and directs New Yorkers to cannabis.ny.gov where they can also learn about New York’s developing cannabis industry.
View the advertisement here.