The NYPD spent over 1 million hours arresting over 440,000 people in New York City for marijuana possession over the course of Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s three terms, according to a report by the Drug Police Alliance. “This is scandalous,” said the DPA’s state director, Gabriel Sayegh.
“Police have squandered 1 million hours to make racially biased, costly and unlawful marijuana possession arrests,” Sayegh told Metro. The time it took officers to arrest and process marijuana possession violators varied from between two to five hours, according to the report.
In 2011, a memo authored by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly instructing police to avoid arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana that was not in open public view. The New York State Legislature is currently considering a bill that would reduce marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to merely a violation.
Approximately 70 percent of those subject to arrest for marijuana possession were under the age of 30. More than 85 percent of the arrested offenders were black or Latino.
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