The hippies at the Drug Policy Alliance announced in a press release yesterday that the New York City Police Department arrested 50,383 people for “low-level marijuana offenses” in 2010, based on a report from the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services. According to the group, that accounts for 15 percent of all local arrests, and the number one infraction in New York City. It continues, dramatically: “On average, nearly 140 people are arrested every day for marijuana possession in NYC, making the Big Apple the “Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World.'” But — would you believe it — it’s not because more people are smoking weed!
More from the release:
This dramatic rise in marijuana arrests is not the result of increased marijuana use, which peaked nationally around 1980 according to data collected by the U.S. government. Over the last twenty years, NYPD has quietly made arrests for marijuana their top enforcement priority, without public acknowledgement or debate. This is the sixth year in a row with an increase in marijuana possession arrests. In 2005, there were 29,752 such arrests, and in 2010, there were 50,383, a 41 percent increase. Since Michael Bloomberg came into office in 2002, there have been 350,000 arrests for low-level marijuana offenses in NYC.
Agenda or not, the numbers are staggering. It goes on (and on) and gets scarier: “In 2009, the NYPD stopped and questioned over 575,000 people — 84% of them people of color.” Read the rest here. As of yet, there are no plans for a “Legalize It!” march. We’ll keep you posted.
[DPA via City Room]