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

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HOME PAGE   

 

REPORTS, PUBLICATIONS, TESTIMONY

   By the Marijuana Arrest Research Project-

 

The Scandal of Racist Marijuana Arrests
(From The Nation, and The War on Marijuana
in Black and White
from the ACLU
)

 

THE AWFUL SUMMONS COURT SYSTEM IN NYC

 

NY City's Marijuana Possession Arrests

GRAPHS & TABLES

• COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES

JOURNALISM & COMMENTARY  

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ABOUT MARIJUANA-ARRESTS.COM

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Archives: No longer updated but still useful

for researchers.

• STOP & FRISK REPORTS AND DATA

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

BRATTON'S BROKEN WINDOWS

POLICE PERJURY AND FALSIFYING: Excerpts
from the Mollen Report

SCANDALS OF THE NYPD

U.S. MARIJUANA ARRESTS 1965-2013

WASHINGTON DC, CHICAGO, ETC

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REPORTS, PUBLICATIONS, TESTIMONY

 

BY THE MARIJUANA ARREST RESEARCH PROJECT

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Unjust & Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio's New York

The NYPD's Racially-Targeted Enforcement of Marijuana Possession Continues, 2014-2016

 

NYC’s 1.5 Million Arrest Warrants for Non‐Criminal Offences and New York City's Jim Crow
Marijuana Arrests
:
Truth, Race, Hidden Data, and Routine Policing in New York City by Harry Levine, March 2017Testimony for The U.S. Commission on Civil Right hearing on “Police Practices and Accountabiility in New York City,"  CUNY School of Law,  2 Court Square, Long Island City,  March 21, 2017

 

Marijuana Madness: New York City's Racist Marijuana Arrests, 2015

Long chapter for a book about the NYPD edited by former police Captain John Eterno. It tells the whole sordid story of the NYPD's hundreds of thousands of marijuana possession arrests in its 20-year marijuana arrest crusade. Written in late 2013 at the end of Bloomberg's last year.

 

RACE, CLASS AND MARIJUANA ARRESTS IN MAYOR DE BLASIO'S TWO NEW YORKS

  THE NYPD'S MARIJUANA ARREST CRUSADE CONTINUES IN 2014

Data on race, income and arrests in 20 neighbohoods with lowest rates and 20 with the highest rates of marijuana possession arrests.  Harry Levine & Loren Siegel, 14 pages, October 2014


 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
 

 

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.

 


Marijuana Possession Arrests In Colorado, 1986-2010

by Harry Levine, Jon Gettman, Loren Siegel, Oct. 2012 

 

  240,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests: Costs, Consequences and Racial Disparities of
Possession Arrests in
Washington, 1986-2010
, by Harry Levine, Jon Gettman, Loren Siegel, Oct 2012

 


$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

 


 Arresting Blacks for Marijuana in California, 2007-2009: Possession Arrests in 25 Cites

By Harry G. Levine, Jon Gettman & Loren Siegel. Oct 2010 

Report released with California NAACP and the Drug Policy Alliance about arrests of  blacks for marijuana possession in 25 California cities where blacks are arrested at 4, 6, 8 and even 12 times the rate of whites.

 

Arresting Latinos for Marijuana in California, 2007-2009: Possession Arrests in 33 Cities.

By Harry G. Levine, Jon Gettman & Loren Siegel. Oct 2010. 

Report released with William C. Velasquez Institute, a Latino civil rights organization, about the disproportionate arrests of Latinos for marijuana possession in 33 California cities.

  

Targeting Blacks For Marijuana: Possession Arrests in California, 2004-08

By Harry G. Levine, Jon Gettman & Loren Siegel, June 2010 
Report released in conjunction with the California NAACP and the Drug Policy Alliance about arrests of  blacks for marijuana possession in the 25 largest counties in California.

 


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

 

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.

 

 

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                     Source: Click here for tables with full source information.

 

 

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Marijuana Arrests in New York City
 

In New York City since 1997, for twenty years, 85% 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.

 

It has cost New York City up to $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. Chicago and other major cities arrest blacks at seven times the rate of whites, just as New York City does. 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 Michelle Alexander has rightly described this as "the new Jim Crow."