Pot Arrests Disparity

The Story

About 90% of New Yorkers arrested for smoking marijuana are black or Latinoa statistic of great concern to advocates and many elected officials, who point out that blacks and Latinos constitute only about half the city’s population. This disparity, they say, is proof of racist law enforcement. But as arrest data show, pot arrests are driven by community complaints, not racial animus.  

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Crime rate: City neighborhoods with the most marijuana arrests often tend to be the same ones where most serious crime takes place. Read more.

  2. Complaints: Data from 311 and 911 calls demonstrate that the NYPD responds to complaints about pot and other anti-social behavior and makes arrests based on those complaints, not on race. Read more.

  3. PriorsMore than 90% of those convicted on marijuana charges have prior criminal convictions. Read more.

“People in my community, when they call 311 or 911, want a response… they are disturbed when they go outside and people are smoking pot.”

Council Member Fernando Cabrera

Twitter Take

Featured Event


The Soho Forum Debate: Richard Rothstein vs. Howard Husock
Monday, January 14, 6:30 pm
Subculture Theater

Tonight at the Soho Forum Richard Rothstein and Howard Husock, Vice President for Research and Publications at the Manhattan Institute, will debate the proposition “Since the federal government fostered housing segregation in the 20th century, the government should foster housing integration in the 21st.”

The Past is Present

Revival in the Ruins By Stephanie Gutmann (Spring 1993)

“In a city that often seems balkanized by high-profile ethnic conflicts, people of all races have joined together in the kind of plodding, unglamorous work necessary to address the quality-of-life concerns so crucial to New Yorkers.”

And in other news...

“Democratic leaders of the New York State Assembly and Senate are set to approve a passel of bills to increase voter participation and tighten campaign-finance laws.”