“Laws are changing everything around us as well as the world that cannabis lives in. Sometimes it is time to sit down the bowl and really focus on the issues. Well then pick it back up, politics is stressful…”

new york

Looks like the big apple came in at #1 last year for low-level marijuana offences, according to recent figures from the New York Division of Criminal Justice. About 140 people are arrested per day, totaling around 50,383 arrests in 2010, more than 6% of all nationwide small time cannabis offences.

This news is surprising considering that New York state actually decriminalized marijuana possession in 1977. However, “What typically happens is that someone is stopped by the NYPD — they stopped 575,000 people in 2009 and frisked more than 325,000 of them — and the police demand that they empty their pockets. When they comply, and a bag of weed emerges, they are then charged not with simple marijuana possession, which is a violation under state law, but with possession “in public view,” which is a misdemeanor.”

This tactic is employed by cops all over the city, intimidating suspects into uncovering marijuana from their pockets and thus incriminating themselves. However, if an officer searches without consent, he can only give a suspect a violation, not a misdemeanor, for possession in public.

Whats worse, “The NYPD’s “stop and frisk and bust” policy appears to be aimed disproportionately at the city’s minority residents and its youth. A whopping 86% of those arrested were black or Latino, even though research consistently shows that young whites use at a higher rate, and 70% of those arrested were under the age of 30.” According to Kyung Ji Rhee, Director of the Institute for Juvenile Reforms and Alternatives, “These 50,000 arrests for small amounts of marijuana can have devastating consequences for New Yorkers and their families, including: permanent criminal records, loss of financial aid, possible loss of child custody, loss of public housing and a host of other collateral damage. It’s not a coincidence that the neighborhoods with high marijuana arrests are the same neighborhoods with high stop-and-frisks and high juvenile arrests.”

new york arrest rates

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