facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

NYC Pot Arrests Continue to Surge

Despite the high cost of prosecution—and a recent NYPD directive—more New Yorkers are arrested for marijuana-related infractions than for any other crime.

Image: 

Protests against police tactics last year.
Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman

02/02/12

| Share

As efforts to legalize pot have increased throughout the country, marijuana-related arrests in many major American cities have significantly declined. But New York City remains a notable exception. In fact, more people were arrested in the city for marijuana possession last year than for any other crime.Though NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced last September that marijuana arrests would no longer be a top department priority,  recent statistics reveal that 50,700 New Yorkers were arrested for marijuana possession in 2011, up from 50,400 in 2010. While state law stipulates that police may only arrest suspects if they are carrying pot in open view, many police officers have been accused of booking people after conducting random "stop-and-frisks," or ordering them to empty their pockets. "If you [carry the drug] in plain sight, then it is a misdemeanor," Kelly asserts. "If you're directed by an officer to take it out of your pocket, that's not the intent of the law. That's what my directive was meant to address. It's very difficult to quantify whether or not that was happening." Queens College sociologist Harry Levine estimates that prosecuting marijuana offender cost the city $75 million in 2011—about $1,500 for every person arrested. "New York remains in a fiscal crisis, and we simply cannot afford to arrest tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens for possessing small amounts of marijuana—especially when so many of these arrests are the result of illegal searches or false charges," says Senator Mark Grisanti.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv