AN ONLINE LIBRARY ABOUT MARIJUANA POSSESSION ARRESTS,
RACE AND POLICE POLICY IN NEW YORK CITY AND BEYOND

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FIRST PAGE   

 

The Scandal of Racist Marijuana Arrests
(new Nov 2013 - from The Nation, and
The War on Marijuana in Black and White

from the ACLU
)

 

SUMMONS OF THE NYPD: 550,000 A YEAR


NY City's Marijuana Possession Arrests

DOCUMENTING THE ARREST CRUSADE

JOURNALISM & COMMENTARY

GRAPHS & TABLES

• COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES

 

Stop and Frisk New York 

• STOP & FRISK REPORTS AND DATA

• STOP & FRISK NYC (news excerpts)
QUOTAS, QUOTAS, QUOTAS

SCANDALS OF THE NYPD

BRATTON'S BROKEN WINDOWS


Race and Marijuana Arrests, USA

U.S. MARIJUANA ARRESTS 1965-2013

210,000 Marijuana Arrests in Colorado

240,000 Marijuana Arrests in Washington

• CALIFORNIA

WASHINGTON DC, CHICAGO, ETC.
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• ABOUT MARIJUANA-ARRESTS.COM

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ILLEGAL SEARCHES (coming)

 

 

DOCUMENTING NEW YORK CITY'S
 

MARIJUANA ARREST CRUSADE

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 MORE OF THE SAME: NYPD Marijuana Arrests in the First Four Months of 2014 -- press release, charts, and docs, 12 pages, June 2014

 

 NYPD Marijuana Arrests UP in the First Quarter of 2014 -- press release and graphs

 

 

 

 

                     Source: Click here for tables with full source information.

 

 

REPORTS AND TESTIMONY BY THE MARIJUANA ARREST RESEARCH PROJECT

 

 

 MORE OF THE SAME: 80 Marijuana Possession Arrests a Day in 2014 -- DATA UP DATE, June 2014

 

 NYPD Marijuana Arrests UP in the First Quarter of 2014 -- press release and graphs, May 2014

 

The Scandal of Racist Mariuana Arrests
by Harry Levine, in The Nation magazine, November 2013

 

National Disgrace
Interview with Harry Levine by Natasha Lennard, The New Inquiry, April 2013


One Million Police Hours: Making 440,000 Marijuana Arrests in New York City, 2002-2012,
by Harry G. Levine, Loren Siegel, and Gabriel Sayegh, March 2013
Report about police time and resources devoted to making marijuana possession arrests since Bloomberg became Mayor, released by Drug Policy Alliance and The Marijuana Arrest Project. Includes numerous excerpts of responses to NYC's possession arrests from 2007 to 2013.

 

Bloomberg's Marijuana Arrest Crusade is ... Softened?  
by Harry G. Levine, Alternet.org  February 2013
Short oped about the "reform" announced in the Mayor's State of the City Address 

 

Police Stops, Illegal Searches, And Marijuana Possession Arrests,
Testimony by Harry Levine to Hearings of the New York City Council, October 2012.

 

Marijuana Possession Arrests, Illegal Searches, and The Summons Court System:

Testimony by Harry Levine to the New York City Council – June 2012

Regarding proposed legislation with photos of illegal police searches and discussion of the summons court system which will handle the decriminalized marijuana possession charges. 

 

$75 Million A Year: The Cost of New York City's Marijuana Possession Arrests
by Harry G. Levine & Loren Siegel – March 2011
Report released with the Drug Policy Alliance about the cost of arresting 50,000 people a year.

 

Regarding Marijuana Arrests: Testimony to the New York State Senate – June 2011

Includes new data showing NYPD arrests by precinct and arrests in 13 counties and cites in NY State

 

Marijuana Arrest Crusade: Racial Bias and Police Policy in New York City, 1997-2007 

by Harry G. Levine & Deborah P. Small.  April 2008
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) report, 100 pages, graphs and detailed description of the arrests.

 

The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City, by Harry G. Levine, Alternet.org  Aug 2009
Oped summary of arrests in NYC and other cities.

 

New York City's Marijuana Arrest Crusade ... Continues - 2009

Brief update of the above report with new graphs and data. Sept 2009, updated Jan 2010

 

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Marijuana Arrests in New York City
 

In New York City for over ten years, 87% of the people arrested for marijuana possession have been  blacks and Latinos. The New York Police Department has arrested blacks for marijuana possession at seven times the rate of whites, and has arrested Latinos at nearly four times the rate of whites. Yet, U.S. government studies have consistently found that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young blacks or Latinos.

 

In 2010 and 2011 the NYPD made 50,000 marijuana possession arrests, more than in any year in over a decade. In 2012 police made nearly 40,000, down from 2012 because the stop and frisks are down the exact same percentage (22%). Since 2002, when Bloomberg became Mayor, the NYPD has made 440,000 marijuana possession arrests. Year after year, New York City makes more marijuana possession arrests and jailings than any city in the world. 

 

In 2012, the NYPD again arrested and jailed more people for possessing a small amount of marijuana than for any other crime.  In recent years, one out of every seven arrests in New York City for anything was for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

 

It now costs New York City at least $75 million dollars a year to arrest and jail people simply for possessing marijuana.

 

Most people arrested for lowest-level marijuana possession in New York City are young: 23% of the people arrested are teenagers; 55% are under 25 years of age; and 68% are under 30 years of age.
 

The marijuana arrests target people who have never been convicted or even arrested before. Of the hundreds of thousands of people arrested for marijuana possession in New York City: 30% had never been arrested before for anything; another 41% had never been convicted or plead guilty to anything, not even a misdemeanor. Mostly the charges were dismissed or dropped. In other words, 71% of the people arrested for marijuana possession had never been convicted of any crime whatsoever. Another 11% had a previous conviction only for a misdemeanor.
 

  Since 1977 and the passage of the Marijuana Reform Act by the state legislature, the possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana (7/8th of an ounce) has NOT been a crime in New York State.  Under New York State law, possession of a less than an ounce of marijuana is a violation, like a traffic violation.

 

Most people arrested for marijuana in New York City were not smoking marijuana or did not have marijuana in public view. Most people simply had a small amount buried in their pockets or belongings. Most of the arrests were made as a result of a police stop. Police officers either tricked people into taking out their marijuana, ordered them to do so, or illegally searched their pockets and belongings.

 

The marijuana possession arrests do not reduce serious crime or violence, but they are very useful for significant groups within the police department. The arrests are relatively safe and easy, provide training for rookie police, and allow patrol and narcotics officers and their supervisors to meet arrest quotas and make overtime pay. They produce records of police activity and help supervisors keep track of what officers are doing. The arrests are also the most effective way for the NYPD to collect fingerprints, photographs and other information on young people not yet entered in the criminal databases.

 

New York City's racially-biased marijuana arrests are extreme, but they are not unusual. Large cities and counties throughout the United States arrest blacks and Latinos for marijuana possession at three, four, five, and up to ten times or more the rate of whites. Los Angeles arrests blacks at seven times the rate of whites, just as New York City does. Chicago does as well. Along with DNA collection for misdemeanors and other policing policies, this produces an institutional form of unjust discrimination that some have termed "racism without racists." The law professor and scholar Michelle Alexander has rightly described this as "the new Jim Crow."