New York City is moving closer to quasi-legalization of marijuana, as the Manhattan district attorney, the mayor, and the city council have all pledged non-enforcement of the law punishing the smoking or possession of the drug. Advocates claim that enforcement of marijuana law is racist; racially disproportionate arrests, they say, are reason enough to stop busting people for smoking weed. But the data offer a more mixed picture than they suggest, and quality-of-life considerations are being ignored in the rush to end policing of drug use.
The Facts You Need to Know
Feds: Marijuana legalization conflicts with drug-free workplace mandates for federal contractors and sensitive industries. Read more.
Race: Marijuana arrest statistics by race are consistent with arrest statistics for other, more serious crimes. Read more.
Myth: Contrary to the myth that marijuana arrests fill the city’s jails, on an average day, only four people are on Rikers Island on a pot charge. Read more.
“Public toking is a public nuisance, and police and prosecutors have a duty to protect the public from it.”
The Past is Present
“Reforming marijuana laws is one thing; demonizing the NYPD is another.”
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