“Young men and women’s lives have been ruined with trumped up charges and illegal searches all because of a technicality in the law that is being exploited.”
In 1983, Andrea Farnum began a four year stint as a New York City Police Officer. First assigned to the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights and then as an undercover narcotics officer in Manhattan North, Andrea saw firsthand how the war on drugs was more about arrest numbers than about helping addicts.
“Arrest quotas were the driving factor in our day to day operations,” Andrea says. “There was never any instruction or direction in how to help any of the low level dealers and users that were just caught in a vicious cycle.”
Also, NYPD’s targeting of young minorities for marijuana arrests was particularly abhorrent to her. “Young men and women’s lives have been ruined with trumped up charges and illegal searches all because of a technicality in the law that is being exploited,” she says. “The obvious racial bias in these arrest numbers should not be ignored or brushed aside.”
After a successful career as a caterer, Andrea now runs her own event planning company, Full Bloom Events, which plans and executes corporate, non profit and social events across the country. She also has volunteered for numerous homeless organizations, Planned Parenthood and done work for the Marijuana Policy Project. Andrea currently lives in Santa Barbara, CA with her husband Lincoln.