There is a raging debate in New York City about the large number of marijuana arrests occurring in New York City, many resulting from the controversial police practice of “stop and frisk.” According to the Times, 12% of New Yorkers use marijuana. Each day about 140 persons are arrested for marijuana possession, the largest category of arrests. Possession of small amounts (i.e. “personal use”) of marijuana that is concealed is a violation, like a traffic ticket, under state law. The penalty rises to a misdemeanor when the marijuana is in "plain view." The majority are of persons arrested for marijuana possession are African-American or Latino, despite the fact that most users are white. Today’s Times article by Mosi Secret highlights the story of parents who were subjected to child welfare investigations as a result of their marijuana arrest. Child welfare representatives assert that possession of marijuana can be a sign of neglect and child endangerment. To view the article click here.
To see a map showing the police precincts with the most low-level marijuana arrest on WNYC’s website click here.