NYC Marijuana Arrest Plumets in Response to Policy Changes

A little while back New York City officials decided that they would not concern themselves as much as they used to when it came to monitoring the usage and possession of Marijuana within the city. The city pledged that they will not be making a lot of arrests concerning the issue, and because of that, small-pot possession arrests have plummeted.

The city decided to start issuing violations and summonses instead of arresting those with a substantial amount of marijuana. The result was a 75 percent drop from this December compared to last December. The number went from 1,820 arrests all the way to 460 marijuana related arrests; according to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Deputy Chief Kim Royster told AP, “Since the inception of our policy in 2014, marijuana enforcement activity is trending down in all categories.”

Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio said, “The law is a law, but what we’re trying to do is approach the enforcement of the law in a smarter way.” His statement was in regards to the fact that they are trying to give out violations instead of arresting people, which can cause a lot of distress and potential unnecessary criminal records for citizens of the city.

There have been many critics of this new policy stating that the strategy is not perfect. Multiple summonses could lead to deportation no matter the severity or if just a violation is issued to the perpetrator. Many people may just say they are guilty thinking that they may just have to pay a fine, which is not always going to be the case.

The New York Civil Liberties Union said in City Council hearing testimony that, “A more meaningful change would be to de-emphasize enforcement of non-criminal violations across the board.”

The mayor then responded by saying, “Would you rather be arrested or be given a summons?”

Photo Credit: AP



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