New York City, “the marijuana arrest capital of the world”, has finally made good on its promise to stop arresting low-level marijuana offenders. For the first time in decades, the city’s marijuana arrest rates have begun to drop–and significantly so.
On the heels of Mayor de Blasio’s November pledge to ease up the city’s pot laws and hand out citations ($100 fines) instead of jail time for marijuana possessors, New York City’s weed-arrest rate has started to significantly decline. In December 2014, 460 New Yorkers were arrested for marijuana possession, down from 1,820 arrests in December 2013.
That drop equates to a 75% dip in December pot arrests from 2013 to 2014. While less significant, November, during which decriminalization truly took effect, saw 1,280 arrests take place compared to 2,200 in 2013, a drop of 42%.
While clearly just the tip of New York City’s marijuana arrest iceberg, those numbers along with the city’s pledge to stop targeting minor possession resulted in nearly a 10% year over year drop in arrests:
“There were about 26,400 marijuana arrests in 2014, down about 9 percent from 2013, the state statistics show.” [SILive.com]
Obviously, decriminalization works when cops listen. As Philadelphia’s recent 88% decline in marijuana arrests after its own law went into effect also shows, the East Coast has finally begun embracing cannabis reform by letting minor offenders off easy.
Moreover, New York City appears on its way to finally shedding the infamous label of “marijuana arrest capital of the world.” As the city continues to progress its marijuana policies and this rate continues to dip, cannabis’ liberation in New York appears imminent.