Drugpolicy.org/press-release/2018/02/monday-city-council-hearing-marijuana-enforcement-amid-ongoing-marijuana”>an increasing number of minorities being arrested for pot possession, despite state and city policies decriminalizing low-level possession. Last year, cops arrested around 17,800 people for marijuana possession, 86% of whom were minorities. Norml.org/2018/02/28/racial-disparities-persist-among-nyc-marijuana-possession-arrestees/”>a non-arrestable offense, punishable by a $100 fine. In 2014, Mayor de Blasio and former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced that cops would begin to issue summonses for low-level cannabis possession rather than arresting the offender. The police force’s own complaint statistics, turned over to the council following the hearing, do not support this claim, though. Last year, out of the five neighborhoods with the most pot possession arrests, only two were among the five neighborhoods with the most pot complaints. In 2016, only one neighborhood in the list of top pot busts was also in the list of top pot complaints. Donald also said that the number of arrests in East Harlem was particularly high because of a special task force cracking down on synthetic marijuana. “Our enforcement often is consistent with where we receive complaints and certainly where we observe illegal behavior,” he said. “We have an obligation – as the police – to be responsive. “
Regardless of the NYPD’s explanation for the disproportionate number of minorities arrested for marijuana, activists are pushing for cops to put a stop to weed possession busts altogether. Drugpolicy.org/press-release/2018/02/monday-city-council-hearing-marijuana-enforcement-amid-ongoing-marijuana”>said in a statement.