You probably know the rules by now: in New York City, if you're caught in public view with pot, or in possession of 25 grams or more, you're getting a violation. Because of this (well, at least, partially), New Yorkers made up 99.2 percent (149,951) of the entire state's marijuana-related arrests (total: 155,048) last year. And, in 2012, getting thrown in the can for the reefer was still No. 1 in New York with the highest amount of arrests.
But lately, the external pressures placed on internal agencies by the incredibly high rates has become an engine for policy shifts. This is why Governor Cuomo continues to try to outlaw the public view provision in the criminal code last year. And why Bloomberg has opted out of the 'stay overnight in jail, be at court in the morning' situation for marijuana offenders. And why NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has even told his officers to chill (brah) with the pot arrests.
Luckily, it looks like these efforts are actually showing real-time results.More »