Bloomberg: Do As I Say, Not As I Did

Speaking of marijuana arrests, the Drug Policy Alliance recently released numbers that show New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not only continuing but escalating his little-noticed crackdown on pot smokers:

Over the last twenty years, NYPD has quietly made arrests for marijuana their top enforcement priority, without public acknowledgement or debate. This is the sixth year in a row with an increase in marijuana possession arrests. In 2005, there were 29,752 such arrests, and in 2010, there were 50,383, a 69 percent increase. Since Michael Bloomberg came into office in 2002, there have been 350,000 arrests for low-level marijuana offenses in NYC.

"New York has made more marijuana arrests under Bloomberg than any mayor in New York City history," said Dr. Harry Levine, a Sociology professor at Queens College and the nation's leading expert on marijuana arrests. "Bloomberg's police have arrested more people for marijuana than Mayors Koch, Dinkins, and Giuliani combined. These arrests cost tens of millions of dollars every year, and introduce tens of thousands of young people into our broken criminal justice system."

Although possession of up to 25 grams (nearly an ounce) of marijuana is a citable offense under New York law, publicly displaying marijuana is a misdemeanor. As Levine has documented, New York City police commonly trick people into taking out their pot, thereby exposing themselves to arrest. The New Yorkers nabbed this way are overwhelmingly young and black or Hispanic, reflecting the neighborhoods where police focus their "stop and frisk" efforts:

Almost 70 percent of those arrested are younger than 30 years old. 86 percent of those arrested are Black or Latino, even though research consistently shows that young whites use marijuana at higher rates.

Levine has found similar patterns in California. Pot busts were the most common kind of arrest in New York last year, accounting for 15 percent of the total. The Drug Policy Alliance says New York police arrested an average of 140 people a day for pot possession in 2010, making their city the "Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World."

In a 2008 Reason article, I noted that the risk of getting arrested for smoking pot, though still small, has roughly doubled since 1990.

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  • ||

    Top priority? That's really the most important problem facing the people of New York?

    And yet the statists continue to insist that we could never survive without such wise men running our lives. Amazing. Just fucking amazing.

  • Almanian||

    TOP. Priority.

    Fuck New York City. Also, while we're at it, fuck Califoria.

  • ||

    "Bloomberg's police have arrested more people for marijuana than Mayors Koch, Dinkins, and Giuliani combined. These arrests cost tens of millions of dollars every year, and introduce tens of thousands of young people into our broken criminal justice system." [Bold added because it can't be shouted too loudly or too often.]

    Your tax dollars hard at work. Bloomberg is a fucking asshole.

  • Restoras||

    Yep. And mayor-for-life, too.

  • ||

    I unexpectedly had a social drink with a cop over Christmas. We got to talking about modern prohibition, and he admitted that he had no problem whatsoever with pot being legal, except that he wouldn't be able to bust boneheads he "knew" were doing worse stuff. Also, he recounted with glee how much he loved whooping ass.

  • The Other Kevin||

    What a nice, heartwarming Christmas story.

  • ||

    I had a similar conversation with a cop a few years back, while in court on an unrelated matter. He was dressed up in the SWAT costume and was assigned to narcotics. He freely agreed with me that the war on drugs was futile, but said he did what he did because it was "fun."

  • Rock Action ||

    Aren't there wars to fight or something? For Gods' sakes.

    "Yes, instead of having the real masculine thrill of battlefields, honor, and death, I prefer the imprimatur of supreme authority when I kick down doors shoot a half-dead junkie in the neck."

  • Kolohe||

    Fwiw, our real wars are also futile.

  • Rock Action ||

    Even if, I'm going to the motive of the actors.

    Though I did re-think my wording after commenting...mainly along the lines of how clever it is to use the word "war" to justify the means with which it is fought.

  • Rock Action ||

    But here's some hardcore fun...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOdzyVWmBAw

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, I certainly hope the City of New York is getting federal grants to help pay for these prosecutions.

    Or is this a lucrative endeavor for the Big Apple? Is this the plan to close any budget shortfalls?

  • ||

    Over the last twenty years, NYPD has quietly made arrests for marijuana their top enforcement priority, without public acknowledgement or debate.


    Why it is almost as if NYPD officers had arrest quotas to fill and this is the easiest and safest way to meet them.

    I know, I know.I'm being paranoid.

  • Jim||

    Just like high-stakes gambling, this may seem harmless, but actually festers into other crimes.

    ...ROADS!!!...

  • ||

    Something to keep in mind for every whiny jackass advocating for decriminalization over legalization.

  • Fluffy||

    "But if we don't have a way to enroll black and Hispanic males into the criminal justice system early, they might do things like walk down our streets, which would scare old population of elderly white women and lower our property values. What do you expect us to do? Watch coloreds walk down our streets?" - the citizens of New York City

  • ||

    Here is a juicy litte WoD tid-bit hot off the wires...

    http://www.mercurynews.com/bre.....ck_check=1

  • Alice Bowie||

    !!!
    !!! KEEP DOPE ALIVE !!!
    !!!

  • ||

    Long live Mary Jane!!

  • puma pas cher||

    122

  • basket puma pas cher||

    i see you .

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