Press Release | 03/19/2013
NEW YORK: A new report released today documents the astonishing number of hours the New York Police Department has spent arresting and processing hundreds of thousands of people for low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure. The report finds that NYPD used approximately 1,000,000 hours of police officer time to make 440,000 marijuana possession arrests over 11 years. These are hours that police officers might have otherwise have spent investigating and solving serious crimes.
The report was prepared by Dr. Harry Levine, Professor of Sociology at Queens College and recognized expert on marijuana possession arrests, at the request of members of the New York City Council and the New York State Legislature.
Additionally, the report estimates that the people arrested by NYPD for marijuana possession have spent 5,000,000 hours in police custody over the last decade. The report includes a compendium of quotes from academics, journalists, law enforcement professionals and elected officials attesting to the wastefulness, consequences and racial disparities inherent in these arrests.
“We cannot afford to continue arresting tens of thousands of youth every year for low-level marijuana possession,” said Alfredo Carrasquillo, civil rights organizer with VOCAL-NY. “We can’t afford it in terms of the negative effect it has on the future prospects of our youth and we can’t afford in terms of police hours. It’s shocking that the same mayor who has been taking money away from youth programs and cutting other social services, is wasting tens of millions of dollars locking youth up through the NYPD’s marijuana arrests crusade. We need legislative action to fix this madness.”
Numerous other reports have exposed the array of problems associated with marijuana arrests in New York:
New York City has made more marijuana possession arrests under Mayor Michael Bloomberg than under mayors Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani combined.
Nearly 70% of those arrested for marijuana are younger than 30 years old, and over 50% are under 21 years old. These young people receive a permanent criminal arrest record which can be easily found on the internet by employers, banks, schools, landlords, and others.
Even though young whites use marijuana at higher rates, over 85% of the people arrested and jailed for marijuana possession are black and Latino.
These arrests are costing New Yorkers more than $75 million per year.
Read more: here
But let’s face it…The real problem in NY city is those large sodas…must control soda intake…