CommunityFDL Main Blog

Over the Past Decade NYC Spent a Million Police Hours on Marijuana Possession

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg

During Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure New York City spent over a million police hours processing misdemeanor marijuana arrests due in large part to the controversial stop and frisk policy that targets minority communities. According to the findings of a new report by the Drug Policy Alliance, from 2002 to 2012 roughly 440,000 low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests were made.

The research by DPA found that the amount of time spent on a misdemeanor possession arrests by a police officer in NYC, “varied from a minimum of two or three hours for one officer, to four or five hours or even longer for multiple officers.” Even using the very conservative estimate that each arrest required only two and a half police hours to process, the study concluded that the city must have spent just over a million police hours on these arrests. This is all the time police officers are not spending dealing with actual serious crimes.

This million police hours figure covers only the time officers spend directly making these arrests. It does not include the time police supervisors, court staff, or prosecutors also had to dedicate to these cases. The total amount of time all city employees spend on dealing with misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests would be significantly higher.

New York City spends a remarkable amount of time, money, and resources arresting people for having a small amount of marijuana. Something that a majority of Americans no longer think should even be a crime.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and some in the state legislature are working to try to at least curtail this massive waste by fixing a loophole in the state’s law that currently makes marijuana possession in “public view” a misdemeanor instead of a mere ticket. It is possible a solution may be included in the budget being negotiated at this time.

CommunityJust Say Now

Over Past Decade NYC Spent a Million Police Hours on Marijuana Possession

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg

During Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure New York City spent over a million police hours processing misdemeanor marijuana arrests due in large part to the controversial stop and frisk policy that targets minority communities. According to the findings of a new report by the Drug Policy Alliance, from 2002 to 2012 roughly 440,000 low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests were made.

The research by DPA found that the amount of time spent on a misdemeanor possession arrests by a police officer in NYC, “varied from a minimum of two or three hours for one officer, to four or five hours or even longer for multiple officers.” Even using the very conservative estimate that each arrest required only two and a half police hours to process, the study concluded that the city must have spent just over a million police hours on these arrests. This is all the time police officers are not spending dealing with actual serious crimes.

This million police hours figure covers only the time officers spend directly making these arrests. It does not include the time police supervisors, court staff, or prosecutors also had to dedicate to these cases. The total amount of time all city employees spend on dealing with misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests would be significantly higher.

New York City spends a remarkable amount of time, money, and resources arresting people for having a small amount of marijuana. Something that a majority of Americans no longer think should even be a crime.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and some in the state legislature are working to try to at least curtail this massive waste by fixing a loophole in the state’s law that currently makes marijuana possession in “public view” a misdemeanor instead of a mere ticket. It is possible a solution may be included in the budget being negotiated at this time.

Previous post

US Catholic Bishops Use Pope Francis’s Anti-Gay History to Promote NOM Rally

Next post

Syria: Chemical Weapons Allegedly Used, U.S. Senator Calls For No Fly Zone

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com