Local group calls for police to deprioritize marijuana possession

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling on the Buffalo Police Department to stop prioritizing marijuana possession.

The campaign was started by a non-profit group called “Open Buffalo.”

They say Mayor Byron Brown should tell police to focus on other areas of public safety.

Open Buffalo’s Max Anderson told News 4 that low-level possession arrests have devastating effects on people’s jobs, education, ability to get student loans and their families.

Anderson says minorities are being disproportionately targeted.

“It’s something that is used pervasively throughout our community, and it’s just that some communities are targeted very heavily, and very intensely, and people are stopped and asked what’s in their pockets if you live in one part of town,” Anderson said. “…in the other part of town, you’re not stopped at all.”

The group is very close to a goal of 600 signatures. Once they reach it, Open Buffalo will deliver the petition to Mayor Brown.

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