yes, it's not just weed either, cannabis is only the tip of the iceberg. They arrest or criminally charge thousands of black & latino people for trespassing, loitering, or blocking the sidewalk, often for standing in front of the housing projects where they live.
Many of the cops are also black or latino, it doesn't really matter, they need to arrest someone as fodder for the criminal justice machine. It's not always personal hatred or racism on the part of the cops IMO, it's a systemic policy from the top down. It's economic. The prison and policing industry in NY is huge....follow the money.
didn't mean to sound snarky about Canada, but it's a different world up there. At least from my many trips to Quebec and Montreal I don't see the same stuff going on up there.