Isn't Bloomberg Proud of His Pot Crackdown?

The Drug Policy Alliance reports that an ad (PDF) criticizing pot busts in New York City, scheduled to appear on a billboard along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, was canceled due to concerns about upsetting Mayor Michael Bloomberg. According to Titan 360, the company that manages the billboard, the landlord rejected the ad because of "political circumstances from the Mayor's office." Here is what the ad says:

Nearly half of all New Yorkers have tried marijuana—including Mayor Bloomberg. We can't arrest them all, but Bloomberg is trying.

Marijuana arrests last year: 50,000.

Cost to taxpayers: nearly $100 million.

"Driving along the BQE," says DPA's Gabriel Sayegh, "you can see ads for alcohol, strip clubs, and casinos, but an ad that talks about the Mayor's record on marijuana arrests in New York is rejected." The city's little-noticed crackdown on pot smokers, which began under Rudy Giuliani, has escalated under Bloomberg. "Despite the mayor's 'moderate' and 'independent' reputation," notes a DPA press release, "Bloomberg has overseen more low-level marijuana arrests than any other elected official in New York history. There have been more arrests under Bloomberg than under Mayors Dinkins, Koch and Giuliani combined." The busts, largely an outgrowth of the NYPD's "stop and frisk" program, overwhelmingly involve blacks and Latinos, who are often tricked into removing marijuana from their pockets, thereby converting a citable offense (possession of less than an ounce) into an arrestable misdemeanor (having marijuana "in public view").

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    LOL, he is probably the biggest pot smoker of them all!

    Lou
    www.anon-web-tools.es.tc

  • cxb||

    TAX HIKE MIKE is likely the biggest criminal in all US history. I can list over 5 million SEPARATE crimes by him.

    Of course, take him at his word, since he ADMITS he didn't get rich legally---says this in his own autobio b/c he has nothing to fear.

    (Just give $10 million to each media mogul via his record-shattering campaign spending and NO ONE WILL TELL THE TRUTH about this super-criminal.)

    FUN FACT:
    bloomberg is already one of the most CONVICTED CRIMINALS in American history. He was found GUILTY by hundreds of judges and juries in courts of law.

    THE CATCH is that Bloomberg claims "sovereign immunity" (which flagrantly violates teh 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause, meaning Bloomberg's a FEDERAL CRIMINAL RIGHT THERE) and that he can't be arrested EVEN IF CONVICTED.

    That's HIS argument! Same as Berlosconi's!

    WORST MAYOR EVER.

  • JB||

    I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate Bloomberg.

  • ||

    The busts, largely an outgrowth of the NYPD's "stop and frisk" program, overwhelmingly involve blacks and Latinos, who are often tricked into removing marijuana from their pockets, thereby converting a citable offense (possession of less than an ounce) into an arrestable misdemeanor (having marijuana "in public view").

    Jebus Eight Kryste. How do they tap dance around entrapment? Not that it matters. The law is only available to those that can afford lawyers.

  • ||

    Never mind entrapment, how the hell is it legal to stop and frisk someone without any articulable suspicion they are committing a crime? No way this could survive a 4th Amendment challenge. Has anyone ever challenged this practice in court?

  • Hugh Akston||

    As indicated by the article, the law doesn't seem to be widely enforced on Constitutional lawyers or those who can afford them.

  • ||

    That's too bad. It doesn't take a Con Law attorney to see this is clearly unconstitutional. Any criminal defense attorney who allows a client to enter a plea in a case like this, rather than challenge the search, should be disciplined by the bar committee. I imagine the system is set up to encourage people just to pay the ticket rather than get an attorney and fight.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Actually, lawyers are probably making a killing off of this law.

    I have seen specialty law shops for pot busts cropping up like the ones for traffic violations. Lawyers likely plead the public view charge down and the clients are so relieved to avoid further jail time that they happily pay whatever the lawyers charge.

    Making those sorts of pleas a standard practice disincentivizes lawyers from making any civil rights noise about it. They're happy as long as they get their piece of the action.

  • ||

    I guess I haven't been out of law school long enough. I'm still idealistic enough to think that someone needs to challenge this law, to the appellate courts if necessary.

    That reminds me of Atlanta's "disorderly conduct" ordinance, which makes it a violation to be in a "high drug area" (e.g. anywhere in the city) with the intent to possess drugs. Obviously it is unconstitutionally vague but for years lawyers used it to dispose of more serious charges that were reduced to disorderly conduct.

  • ||

    If an officer makes a request to "empty your pockets" and you do, you have assented to a search. They don't have to forcibly search you to get you to incriminate yourself.

  • Sudden||

    Unfortunately, per Terry v. Ohio, this "stop and frisk" policy can be justified laughably easily by an officer.

  • ||

    "You know, I could call this in and get the dogs out here and we could really look into your case here, maybe have ICE visit your family. Or, you could just help yourself out by cooperating and showing me what's in your pockets."

    Bam. I just got about 95% of the people stopped to incriminate themselves without any legally defined entrapment.

  • ||

    It's the same reasonable suspicion standard AZ wants to use to check for immigration status. What's the odds that if you refused you would be charged with disorderly conduct or something but not the crime of which they claimed to have reasonable suspicion.

  • ||

    So, if you're drunk in the bar parking lot, and a cop asks you to wait in your car while he runs your ID, he can come back and arrest you for drunk driving? Even though complying with his request is an essential element of your offense? And refusing to comply will also get you arrested?

    Fuck. Costa Rica, here I come.

  • Steve Chaos||

    It gets more insidious than that - "If I find it on you, it's going to be a lot worse than if you just take it out and show it to me." When in fact, the opposite is true.

    So, not only entrapment, but actually lying to inflate the level of the offense.

  • Zeb||

    Cops are ALWAYS lying when they say "it will be easier on you if you just cooperate".

  • ||

    So true. I am a criminal defense attorney and so many of my clients could have saved themselves a lot of grief by politely declining to speak to the police. But by the time I get the case it is too late.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Sir can you step outside.

    You got drunk in your house, since you stepped outside it's public intoxication. We've seen the crap before.

    And don't lie, your not going to Costa Rica for anything but vacation. ;-)

  • ||

    I'll be spending my vacation in Costa Rica looking at real estate.

    It was Mrs. Dean's idea. I swear.

  • ||

    Why would anybody want to blow up NYC?

    It's baffling.

  • Lethal Injection||

    +1

  • The Anti-Juanita||

    "The busts, largely an outgrowth of the NYPD's "stop and frisk" program, overwhelmingly involve blacks and Latinos, who are often tricked into removing marijuana from their pockets, thereby converting a citable offense (possession of less than an ounce) into an arrestable misdemeanor (having marijuana "in public view")."

    We need to educate these people about the dangers of deceptive search techniques.

  • ||

    No matter how many times you tell people "just shut the hell up and do nothing", they don't seem to get the point.

  • Fluffy||

    If you tried to educate people, you would be thwarted at every turn.

    If I had a million dollars to spend right now on TV ads in the NYC area advising people not to cooperate with police requests and instructing them to refuse to empty their pockets, I couldn't spend it. My ads would be rejected everywhere. Ditto radio.

  • ||

    [url=http://flexyourrights.org/]Some People[/url] are trying.

  • ||

    Damn! Why for art my tags not work?

  • Because||

    This isn't a forum. Just use a regular anchor element.

  • ||

    overwhelmingly involve blacks and Latinos

    In other words, Libertarians don't have anything to worry about.

  • ||

    You must be high. "Public view" may be a misdemeanor, but "sale" is a felony.

  • Steve Chaos||

    New York City: Bastion of Republicanism.

    Oh, wait. Nevermind.

    But liberals would never allow or encourage rampant civil liberties abuses (particularly) of minorities, I thought?

  • ||

    ""New York City: Bastion of Republicanism.""

    Depends on how you look at it. If the Bastion of Republicanism is Fox News, then 48th Street and 6th Ave is it.

  • Force shits upon Reason's back||

    Unlike liberals, libertarians worry about other peoples civil rights as well as our own.

  • Not a pot smoker||

    tricked into removing marijuana from their pockets, thereby converting a citable offense (possession of less than an ounce) into an arrestable misdemeanor

    That is one dirty trick.

  • Number 2||

    Yeah, but it's clever.

  • PabloKoh||

    Make an arrest at quitting time and add 3 hours of OT. Policing for profit.

  • ||

    If the druggies want to get off with only a ticket they'll keep the "stash" in the pocket.

  • Untermensch||

    Juanita is back? Now there's a troll for Chony to learn from!

  • In Time Of War||

    Politicians...they're not sorry they smoked and enjoyed pot, they're sorry they admitted to smoking and enjoying pot.
    Oh, and you stupid, irresponsible, little people shouldn't be allowed to smoke pot. You can't handle it.

  • In Time Of War||

    Speaking of which, I noticed the hiring standards for my city's police department require applicants not to have smoked pot within the last five (5) years.
    That's a really, erh, high standard for a job where you can legally kill other people.

  • PabloKoh||

    Good idea for a New York business: Print up opaque zip lock bags with "I do not consent to a search" written on the bag.

  • Rich||

    Very good idea, since a person can be more somewhat more easily panicked and suggestible while under the influence of MJ. (Or so I've been told.)

  • ||

    Suggestible? No. Panicked? Maybe.

    But believe me, there's no weed on earth that has the same freak-out factor as that brought on by a friendly visit from the nearest beat cop.

  • qwerty||

    NYC needs a referendum on pot legalization. Anyone who ever took drugs is not allowed to vote against pot legalization.

  • Xeones||

    Damn, Dan T., that's one of the lamest attempts at snark i've seen in a dog's age. If you're not gonna troll with your A game, don't show up at all.

    Also: fuck Michael Bloomberg, yo.

  • alan||

    New York, both city and state, have since the time Rockefeller was in power, and probably before that, some of the most draconian attitudes and laws regarding drugs this side of Singapore.

    I haven't really looked at local stats in a while, but I do remember my county sheriff mentioning in a low key public conference that marijuana offenses was the lowest priority of the priorities for enforcement for his staff. It barely registered any attention in the local press which was probably a good thing.

  • alan||

    Oh, and, Dan Turd,


    overwhelmingly involve blacks and Latinos

    In other words, Libertarians don't have anything to worry about.

    You can kiss my Latin ass, bitch.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The city's little-noticed crackdown on pot smokers...


    Well, 50,000 people are aware of it, anyway.
  • BakedPenguin||

    overwhelmingly involve blacks and Latinos... In other words, Libertarians don't have anything to worry about.

    Yeah, why would they want to join a political party that advocates not arresting them for activities that don't harm others?

    Shitbag.

  • alan||

    I'm also aware of one dealer in the city of G-boro who did business for years, and the cops basically looked the other way, until he decided to expand into the coke markets.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I always suspected the NYPD was on Pepsi's payroll.

  • alan||

    Ha! Would you believe it took me a minute to get that. Been very busy today. Ever find when you are doing extensive mathematical activities, your verbal comprehension skills shrink?

  • &||

    blacks and Latinos, who are often tricked

    That seems racist to me. Are blacks and Latinos less intelligent than other races and ethnic groups? If not, how do they keep getting "tricked"?

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's more likely that they are bullied or intimidated into compliance. Police attitudes tend to differ depending on the amount of melanin in a suspect's skin.

  • ||

    I don't think he was saying that a black or latino person would be easier to trick, but rather they have been disproportionally targeted.

  • ||

    Or, what Hugh said.

  • ||

    No, I think the pool of those "often tricked" includes everyone stopped for this stuff by NYPD. People buy that "just cooperate and it'll all be easy" crap hook, line, and sinker. It's a powerful psychological ploy.

    Unfortunately the vast majority of people victimized by this process in the first place are minorities. And that is certainly racist.

  • cxb||

    No. Bloomberg has the NYPD mostly going after blacks and latinos b/c all of Tax Hike Mike's drug user pals are WHITE.

    And the NYPD wants to get the fingerprints of every black and latino.

    THAT's the goal, b/c our mayor is a psychopathic criminal. (Curious that 90% of crimes committed in NYC are done by blacks and latinos, BLOOMBERG CLAIMS HE REHABILITATED AND "CORRECTED" in Rikers, the world's largest and most failed "Correctional facility".

    But 100% of govt and media insist that "correct" doesn't mean "fix"!

    WORST MAYOR EVER.

  • Beezard||

    Luckily, I only get high on Black Lotus.

  • ||

  • دردشة||

    thanks

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement