Pot City

The Story

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

  1. Feds: Marijuana legalization conflicts with drug-free workplace mandates for federal contractors and sensitive industries. Read more.

  2. Race: Marijuana arrest statistics by race are consistent with arrest statistics for other, more serious crimes. Read more.

  3. 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.”

New York Post editorial

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Pot Possession and the Police By Heather Mac Donald (June 7, 2012)

“Reforming marijuana laws is one thing; demonizing the NYPD is another.”

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