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From this New Yorker article:

But Holder’s decision suggests (though it does not guarantee) that marijuana arrests will be heading downward. To the extent that they do, that will be a step forward for racial equality. Ending discriminatory enforcement—which is what happened in New York and around the country—is a positive step for everyone.

What does this "which" refer to?

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closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, terdon, TrevorD, tchrist, MετάEd Sep 5 '13 at 3:38

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In this sentence, which stands for ending discriminatory enforcement. –  FumbleFingers Sep 3 '13 at 16:26
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I'd say it's just "discriminatory enforcement" that the "which" is referring to. –  Kevin Sep 3 '13 at 16:36
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Andy, having seen the last 10 or so of your questions, I feel I should once more urge you to check out English Language Learners. Your questions would be very welcome there but are really quite basic for ELU. In general we avoid questions that every native speaker could answer. –  terdon Sep 3 '13 at 17:49
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Andy, I also note that you've asked 15 questions in the last 2+ weeks, & had answers on most, with multiple answers on several - yet you haven't accepted a single answer to any of them. Does this mean that none of the many answers you have received actually answers any of your Qs? If they do answer your Qs, then please accept the best one (after waiting a little to see if you get better ones). It is polite to accept an answer on each Q. where possible, and encourages people to continue helping you. Please see here. –  TrevorD Sep 3 '13 at 23:04
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is better suited to English Language Learners –  TrevorD Sep 3 '13 at 23:36

1 Answer 1

From a purely syntactic perspective, the wording is ambiguous. "Which" here could apply to either "discriminatory enforcement" or "ending discriminatory enforcement".

Given that the article gives no indication that discriminatory enforcement has ended "around the county", it likely was meant to apply only to "discriminatory enforcement". Indeed, if the author believed that discriminatory enforcement had ended around the country, it seems unlikely that the article would have been written at all.

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The full text of the article shows that you're undoubtedly correct: newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/09/… –  dcaswell Sep 4 '13 at 0:29

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