Williamsburg and Greenpoint: More Druggy, or Just More Drug Busts?

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In the midst of all the Osama Bin Laden news there's a bit in the New York Post about "hipster communities" in Williamsburg and Greenpoint that are either partying too hard, or are partying just the same as they've always been partying but getting busted more, depending on who you ask. Apparently, local officials in the area are pushing to ban new bars in Williamsburg and Greenpoint; meanwhile, heroin and pot busts are reportedly up in the 94th Precinct, which covers the area, 33 percent this year compared to last.

There were 51 drug busts "mainly along the busy commercial strip of Manhattan Avenue from Greenpoint Avenue to Clay Street in Greenpoint" -- mostly users rather than dealers, according to the Post.

They involved both men and women from their 20s to their 50s who live or used to live in the area, police said.

"These are mostly user-type people, not organized distributors," [NYPD Deputy Inspector Frank] Cangiarella said.

However, overall crime is down 10 percent overall in the neighborhood, and according to a local, "It's no different drugwise than it was three years ago."

Instead, the local points out that wealthier people are moving in, prompting cops to crack down -- and perhaps also leading to the fight to ban new liquor licenses in the area. As Cangiarella himself points out, "When you have a neighborhood that is improving, people are vocal [about their concerns]."

So, is it getting worse...or is it getting better?

Hip to be square [NYP]

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Drug use isn't getting any worse in Williamsburg - it's getting much much better (if we are talking quality...). But seriously, when you have a majority population of kids in their mid-20s with disposable income, there's going to be a rise in drug use, and subsequently, drug arrests. It happens. I mean, who hasn't seen (or smelled) someone lighting up in McCarren park and walk up and down Bedford ave on a Friday night and someone probably will offer you one illegal substance or another.

There is most definitely a correlation between the rise in drug busts and fall in overall crime: Stoned kids are too lazy to rob anyone. Sounds like a win to us.

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