After the Commissioner in New York City ordered police officers to quit arresting people that were found to have small amounts of marijuana arrest rates are down by 13%. The request was made on September 19th, 2011. The comparisons were made between the same 9 week period last year and this year.
The normal classification for this arrest was misdemeanor marijuana possession and could put people through the courts and put them in jail. In a CBS interview one New York City Council member stated, “500,000 New Yorkers have been adversely affected by this policy. We’re thankful that the commissioner has decided to change it.”
The change in policy has certainly made a difference in the number of arrests with 1,190 fewer arrests being made this year according to CBS New York local affiliates. Arrests had been climbing in years past higher and higher but that seems to have been changed quickly with the new policy.
Not everyone is happy about the changes as they say that the figures are fit for outrage. Reuters interviewed one person that was working for the Drug Policy Alliance named Gabriel Sayegh. What people seem to be saying at this point is that the drop in marijuana arrests are too small and that millions of tax dollars are being used for illegal searches. While there are still complaints, changes are certainly being made and the move shows that marijuana in New York won’t be the cause for search as often.
- A little pot is trouble in NYC: 50k busts a year (sfgate.com)