To the People

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NYC's New Motto: Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World

NEW YORK - Police busted nearly 400,000 people for carrying small amounts of pot in the last decade, making New York City the world leader in marijuana arrests, civil rights advocates said Tuesday while unveiling a study criticizing the war on drugs.[...]

The study by Queens College sociologist Harry G. Levin, titled "Marijuana Arrest Crusade," accused police of purposely singling out minorities during the 10-year crackdown. It said that data provided by state Division of Criminal Justice Services showed that between 1997 and 2007, 52 percent of the suspects were black, 31 percent Hispanic and only 15 percent white.[...]

According to the study, arrests for marijuana possession began skyrocketing in the late 1990s during the Giuliani administration _ a trend that continued under Mayor Michael Bloomberg at an estimated cost of between $50 and $90 million a year. There were 39,700 arrests last year alone, according to the study.
Well, there are like 8 million people in New York, so it's not a total surprise that 40,000 people were arrested for possession of marijuana. I might have even guessed higher; which is a sad statement on our country.

More:
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne called Levine an "advocate for marijuana legalization," and accused the NYCLU of using the sociologist "to mislead the public with absurdly inflated numbers and false claims about bias."

"If the NYCLU is for legalization, it should just say so without resorting to smears," Browne said.
OK, there we go, throw out the dirty words like, "legalization", and calling someone an "advocate for legalization". I know that I wouldn't want to be accused of fighting for a rational approach to drug policy. And since when did simply reporting how many people were arrested for carrying a plant become a "smear". Just like Mr Browne urges the NYCLU to come out and just say they are for legalization, I urge the city of New York to come out and just admit they are for an arcane policy of prohibition, enforced with penalties of arrest and imprisonment. It's only fair.

Full article here.

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