The city of New York spends around $75 million a year to arrest people caught with marijuana, even though it’s not technically a crime. A new report from the Drug Policy Alliance found that there were around 50,000 pot arrests last year. State law requires that people found with a small amount of pot should receive the equivalent of a traffic ticket, but the study found that the NYPD arrests and jails pot suspects anyway — a problem that Marc Jacobson explored in his recent feature for New York. NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly defended the arrests, saying that pot arrests helped keep crime down. “The law clearly says if you have marijuana in public view, you should be arrested. It’s a misdemeanor,” said Kelly.
New York spends $75 million a year on marijuana arrests though it’s not technically a crime [NYDN]