Watch This: Bishop on NYPD and Marijuana Laws
We're sure that plenty of people are pleased with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to decriminalize possession of marijuana in small amounts. But Bishop Ron Allen, the president of the International Faith Based Coalition, is not one of them.
While being interviewed on Fox & Friends on Wednesday, he cited the NYPD's disproportionate arrests of minorities and declared, "They're trying to cover something up, and they want to blame it on pot."
Co-host Gretchen Carlson opened the segment by outlining New York State's plan to decriminalize marijuana possession and said that both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Mike Bloomberg were behind the plan.
Carlson asked Allen "why do you have a problem with this," to which he responded "are you kidding me?"
"I can't believe that our elected officials think that by decriminalizing an illicit drug will cause crime to go down," said Allen. "What illusionary thinking."
... When Carlson asked if New York City had a point, that it could devote more police resources to violent criminals if they were not devoting manpower to arresting non-violent drug offenders, Allen said that New York had a bigger problem on their hands. He outlined a number of statistics that showed the NYPD arrested more blacks and Hispanics than whites as a proportion of the population.
But don't most people think the proposed decriminalization is a good thing for that very reason? After all, many of those arrests for marijuana possession are justified by the city's controversial stop-and-frisk policy. So what exactly is Allen getting at? And what's the connection, in your view, between the proposed change to drug policy and the NYPD's long-standing issues with the black community? Let us know in the comments.