New York City’s New Boss, Same as the Old?

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director May 9, 2014

    A new report released this week by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project reveals that marijuana arrests have actually increased in New York City under the new leadership of Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton.

    In March 2014, the NYPD performed more marijuana possession arrests than in any month in the last six months under the Bloomberg administration. In fact, March 2014 saw more arrests than in 10 of the 12 months in 2013 under the previous administration. The total number of arrests for first quarter of 2014 are higher than both the third and fourth quarters of 2013.

    These arrests also continue the disturbing trend of disproportionately falling on individuals of color. In Brooklyn, in predominately white Park Slope, police made just 7 marijuana possession arrests in the first three months of 2014. In Carroll Gardens and Red Hook they made 12 marijuana arrests in that same time frame. More affluent neighborhoods saw even fewer arrests. In Manhattan, Police only made two marijuana possession arrests in the Tribeca/Wall Street area, one arrest in the Upper East Side, and four arrests in the Upper West Side. The story is quite different in predominately black or latino neighborhoods, where the police made significantly more arrests. In Bedford-Stuyvesant 111 individuals were arrested, 130 in Crown Heights, and 438 in East New York from January to March of this year.

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    Despite similar use rates across racial groups, 86% of those arrested in the first quarter of 2014 were blacks and Latinos.

    Harry Levine, a sociology professor at Queens College, City University of New York, and co-director of Marijuana Arrest Research Project said:

    “At 28,000 arrests a year, New York still makes more marijuana possession arrests than any city in the world. Yet the simple possession of marijuana has not been a crime in New York State since 1978. Isn’t it time for these unfair, biased, damaging, often illegal arrests to just stop, now?”

    25 Responses to “New York City’s New Boss, Same as the Old?”

    1. Eric Jaffa says:

      What about the first quarter of 2013?

    2. 2roland says:

      perhaps the day will come when we the people dont have to hide our lil bitty weed pipes in our dwars (like wer hidding our barretts from the local sex offenders) its our personal life what goes on in the homes of concenting adults is not the bussiness of the state)

    3. Mark I says:

      They say you have to give up the right to drive if using cannabis as a medication, when you only need to give up material wealth and financial independence law enforcement is trained to steal without due processes.

    4. SmokeyJoeWood says:

      DiBlasio is pro-union above all else. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong; he’s being loyal to the people who put him there.

      So…marijuana prohibition means police arresting lots of people that are generally non-threatening, which means better stats and more overtime with little risk, which means a happy NYPD. This is the main reason why I sadly do not think legalization is coming to the northeast US any time soon.

    5. Dennis King says:

      Miles you are so right!!!

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