marijuana arrest prison drug drugs
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Marijuana Arrests Drop 75% In New York City

marijuana arrest prison drug drugsNew York City had one of the most racially disparaging marijuana arrest rates in the country. That led to outcries from the marijuana reform movement and civil rights activists, which then led to New York City reforming its marijuana laws. What once resulted in an arrest now results in just a fine. The policy change has led to a significant decrease in marijuana arrests in New York City, which is good news for marijuana consumers and law enforcement alike. Per the Associated Press:

After a mid-November turn toward violations and summonses instead of misdemeanor arrests for carrying modest amounts of pot, such arrests plunged by 75 percent in December compared to last year, from about 1,820 to 460, according to state Division of Criminal Justice Services statistics obtained by The Associated Press. The November numbers fell 42 percent, from 2,200 to 1,280.

Even summonses have fallen by about 10 percent since the policy change, to 1,180, compared to the same period a year ago, New York Police Department figures show.

“Since the inception of our policy in 2014, marijuana enforcement activity is trending down in all categories” for the bottom-rung marijuana charge, Deputy Chief Kim Royster told the AP.

A drop in marijuana arrests is great news for New York City. Cops should be going after real criminals, not marijuana consumers. Jail beds should be reserved for violent criminals, not marijuana consumers. Law enforcement almost always opposes marijuana reform, despite the fact that it benefits them greatly. Something similar is going on in Philadelphia, where marijuana arrests have dropped 88% since marijuana decriminalization took effect there.

  • Gee… I wonder what changed that could explain this?

    • Aquarama

      State law makes it a misdemeanor to have up to 25 grams of marijuana in “public view.” But the mayor said the city was choosing to treat that largely as a non-criminal violation – meaning a summons rather than an arrest, and a potential $100-plus fine instead of a possible three months in jail and a criminal record. (Under a 1977 state law, carrying the same amount of pot out of sight was already a violation, not a misdemeanor.)

      Arrests were to continue in some cases, such as when people are allegedly seen smoking the drug in public. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NYC_MARIJUANA_ARRESTS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

      • I was being factitious. I live in NY, and I’m well aware that the reason this is happening is that New Yorkers finally got sick of electing Republicans and instead elected a pretty progressive mayor who’s being much more sensible.

  • Helen

    But…didn’t arrests for all crimes plummet sharply in NYC in December due to the “slowdown” organized by cops?

    • Yes, but the change in policy happened before that, and will continue afterwards.

  • Johnny oneye

    NY stop n frisk deemed unconstitutional!
    In other news hundreds of NyPd faces layoffs , due to not mAking Quotas!
    S I / bklyn Savino foots MMJ
    Bill allowing NY resident to cultivate cannabis , bill gets dismembered
    Lobbyists for Sativex, Charlotte s web
    Shaping up for market control.

  • Great post. Thank you!