The Drug Law Blog notes that The Association of the Bar of the City of New York will be discussing Marijuana Arrest Policy tomorrow.
In 1977, New York State decriminalized possession of personal use amounts of marijuana. Nonetheless, researchers report that New York City is now the national leader in detaining individuals for possession of personal use amounts of marijuana. Beginning with the advent of quality of life policing, the New York City Police Department dramatically increased the number of arrests for marijuana possession: from 1997 to 2006 the Department arrested 362,000 people for possessing marijuana, in 2006 alone it arrested 33,000 people for marijuana possession. The Department also commonly holds marijuana possession arrestees in detention for up to 24 hours pending arraignment. Published research indicates that the marijuana possession arrests are not in central business districts, and that the police primarily make the arrests in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
Drug Law Blog also has a post reviewing 2006 marijuana arrest stats for the entire US and ends with the following observation.
That's more than 1.5 million people who were arrested in 2006 simply for possession.
The link to my other post today should be obvious.