Black Lives Matter Activists Want to End Marijuana Prohibition

By Victoria Kim 08/26/15

Activists with the BLM movement outlined a series of fundamental reforms to stop shootings by police.

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Prominent black activists within the Black Lives Matter movement posted a series of detailed policy proposals on Friday, calling for fundamental reforms to end killings by police in the United States.

The movement, which has gained momentum through viral, graphic video footage of police killings of unarmed black men including Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Walter Scott, has shed light on the disproportionate police violence and harassment that is ingrained in the black American experience, as American as apple pie.

“Now that there’s this awareness, we have an opportunity to end police violence, and this is a blueprint for how we can do it,” said DeRay Mckesson, who created Campaign Zero with fellow activists Johnetta Elzie, Brittany Packnett and San Francisco-based policy expert, Samuel Sinyangwe.

The ten pillars of Campaign Zero include limiting the use of police force and improving police training, oversight, and accountability. The first calls for the end of “Broken Windows” policing, referring to a focus on policing minor crimes and activities that has “led to the criminalization and over-policing of communities of color and excessive force in otherwise harmless situations.”

“Police killed at least 287 people last year who were involved in minor offenses and harmless activities” like sleeping in parks, marijuana possession, or looking “suspicious,” the section reads.

The campaign also calls for the end of federal marijuana prohibition or DEA enforcement of this prohibition.

Though Mckesson, Elzie, and Packnett are influential members of the Black Lives Matter movement, they told the Los Angeles Times that they are not representative of the whole movement and are open to changes in their platform. They said they will track and hold the 2016 presidential candidates accountable for where they stand.

Additional proposed reforms include ending “stop-and-frisk” policing, alternative approaches to mental health crises, ending police ticket and arrest quotas, limiting civil asset forfeiture, and requiring the use of body and dashboard cameras.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr