NYPD Arrests for Marijuana Soar in 2011, Second Highest on Record

MJarrests.jpg
This chart went up yet again in 2011
The folks at the Drug Policy Alliance -- who we talked to extensively for last year's Voice feature "The White Mayor's Burden" -- put out a scathing press release yesterday writing that the NYPD arrested 50,680 New Yorkers for marijuana in 2011, making it the highest year for the Bloomberg administration and the second highest year in the history of the city (just 587 arrests behind the record holding year 2000, when the Giuliani NYPD arrested 51,267 people for pot).

Given that the overwhelming majority of people arrested for pot are black and Hispanic young men, it's ironic that 2011 saw a continuation in the increase of marijuana arrests. After all, 2011 was the year Mayor Mike rolled out the Young Men's Initiative with an alleged desire to "help" young men of color. It was also the year NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly was forced, after Bloomberg's initiative was so widely mocked, to clarify that stop-and-frisks couldn't include illegal searches that made marijuana become in public view because a cop had illegally taken it from a citizen's pocket.

And yet, despite this, the marijuana arrests rose last year all the same.

Here are the most fascinating numbers the DPA's release claimed (emphasis ours):

-- With its nearly-chart topping year in 2011, the NYPD has made more than 100,000 marijuana possession arrests for the last two years; nearly 150,000 marijuana possession arrests in the last three years; and more than 227,000 marijuana possession arrests in the last five years.

-- New York City spent at least $150 million in the last two years and has spent at least $340 million in the last five years making marijuana possession arrests.

-- In the last decade since Michael Bloomberg became mayor, the NYPD has made 400,038 lowest level marijuana possession arrests at a cost of $600 million dollars.

-- Nearly 350,000 of the marijuana possession arrests made under Bloomberg are of overwhelmingly young Black and Latino men, despite the fact that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young Blacks and Latinos.

-- In the last five years, the NYPD under Bloomberg has made more marijuana arrests (2007 to 2011 = 227,093) than in the 24 years from 1978 through 2001 under Mayor Giuliani, Mayor Dinkins, and Mayor Koch combined (1978 to 2001 = 226,861).

Mind you, as the release notes, "Since 1977, possession of small amounts of marijuana has been a violation, a non-arrestable offense - unless it's burning or in plain public view." The only way it's in "public view" is because of stop-and-frisk.

@steven_thrasher | sthrasher@villagevoice.com



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7 comments
BuzzCoastin
BuzzCoastin

How fortuitous that the cops, the courts and the prison corporations all benefit from this type of "law enforcement." How unfortunate that slavery still exists.

Matthew Swaye
Matthew Swaye

The NYPD has a problem? It's being run like a corporation? Kelly is a warmonger and a businessman? Our complacency is a testament to the totality of his police state? Our silence is the goal of the open-air prisons he's made of marginalized neighborhoods? All this oink oink bang bang shit is keeping us safe from terrorism? We haven't had another 9/11 so quit complaining about a whole generation of Black and Latino youth violated? We want our streets back. We should be moving into an era in which the cops do less. Instead, they're doing more and more. (700,000 S&F's last year.) Collectively and peacefully we gotta stand up! We all have cameras - there’s no logical reason we can’t cop-watch this cop problem away. Cameras on!  Film the NYPD saying, “I’m just doing my job.” Create an exhibit for the emerging, decentralized online museum of the New Jim Crow. Shame these thugs in perpetuity. Their grandchildren will know what they did for a living. Their great-grandchildren will know that gun buy-backs worked wonders and that Stop&Frisk was a crime against humanity. *Raw Footage* Elders Arrested By NYPD in Harlem Jan. 5, 2012http://www.youtube.com/wat...

Malcolm Kyle
Malcolm Kyle

* In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana -- making a calculated total of 853,839. 

* Of those, an estimated 750,591 people (45.8%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone. 

* By contrast, in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana "violations", of which 646,042 (40.9%) were for possession alone. 

* From 1996-2010, there were 10.1 million arrests for marijuana possession and 1.4 million arrests for the sales and distribution of marijuana, equaling a total of 11.5 million marijuana arrests during that fifteen year time frame.

* Marijuana "violation" arrests were 39.9% of total prohibition arrests in 1995 increasing to 52.1% of such arrests in 2010. 

* During this same period, arrests for marijuana sales and distribution fluctuated between 5-6% of total prohibition arrests, while those for simple possession increased from 34.1% in 1995 to 45.8% in 2010. 

* Arrests for marijuana possession have risen from about a third to about a half of all prohibition violation arrests over the fifteen year 1995-2010 period.

Malcolm Kyle
Malcolm Kyle

What makes your clock tick?

http://www.drugsense.org/cms/w...

* In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana -- making a calculated total of 853,839. 

* Of those, an estimated 750,591 people (45.8%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone. 

* By contrast, in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana "violations", of which 646,042 (40.9%) were for possession alone. 

* From 1996-2010, there were 10.1 million arrests for marijuana possession and 1.4 million arrests for the sales and distribution of marijuana, equaling a total of 11.5 million marijuana arrests during that fifteen year time frame.

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cm...

* Marijuana "violation" arrests were 39.9% of total prohibition arrests in 1995 increasing to 52.1% of such arrests in 2010. 

* During this same period, arrests for marijuana sales and distribution fluctuated between 5-6% of total prohibition arrests, while those for simple possession increased from 34.1% in 1995 to 45.8% in 2010. 

* Arrests for marijuana possession have risen from about a third to about a half of all prohibition violation arrests over the fifteen year 1995-2010 period.

JungBlud
JungBlud

To be fair at least 25,000 of those arrests last year was probably the same black guy I see being arrested daily and back on the streets in time for the cops to collect overtime the next day.

 

Colorado Shu
Colorado Shu

With all the time and money spent on the witch hunt they could keep the plows running 24x7, finish a tower or two and keep New Yorkers drinking clean water piped in from "unFracked" water sheds. But it would defy logic to employ some.

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