Police spent 1 million hours arresting people for pot: Report

Marijuana seized from Olney home
(Credit: Rikard Larma)

More than 400,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in New York City during the last decade, according to a new report.

And cops spent about 1 million hours of their time arresting 440,000 people for pot, adds the report, released today by the Drug Policy Alliance.

“Police have squandered 1 million hours to make racially biased, costly and unlawful marijuana possession arrests,” Drug Policy Alliance state director Gabriel Sayegh said. “This is scandalous.”

The group has been one of several to criticize the NYPD for booking New Yorkers found with pot in their pocket. Advocates say many arrests result from NYPD officers stopping and searching New Yorkers, not people smoking on sidewalks.

In 2011, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly sent a memo telling officers not to arrest people for having small amounts of marijuana that was not in public view.

This week, state legislators are reportedly considering a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would make the penalty for having a small amount of marijuana in public view a violation instead of a misdemeanor.

According to the report, the amount of cops’ time used for a pot arrest varied from two hours to five hours, sometimes longer.

After an arrest, police must bring back the handcuffed person, book them, take photographs and fingerprints and write a report. They also check the person’s data against criminal databases, researchers said.

Researchers noted that this calculation does not include time from officials like corrections, court or prosecution staff.

About 70 percent of people arrested for marijuana are younger than 30, according to the report.

And more than 85 percent are black and Latino, researchers said.

“We cannot afford to continue arresting tens of thousands of youth every year for low-level marijuana possession,” said Alfredo Carrasquillo, an organizer with VOCAL-NY.

Carrasquillo told Metro about spending two days in jail after Harlem cops pulled him aside and found a bag of marijuana.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.