Minorities account for more than 90% of all arrests made for the possession and distribution of cannabis in New York City between January and March of this year, according to data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services; the data was obtained by the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP).
According to the data, arrests for “small amounts” of cannabis were up 33.7% this year, compared to the same time-frame in 2015. This is despite the fact that Mayor de Blasio has called on police to no longer make arrests for those caught possession small amounts of cannabis, given they aren’t consuming in public and aren’t selling.
“While Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bratton, and other city officials have made widely publicized pronouncements about reducing punitive sanctions for marijuana infractions, the data present a different story,” says Robert Gangi, Director of PROP. “Arrests for these activities are actually on the rise.”
In addition to a disparity in cannabis arrests, PROP also found that 86.5% of misdemeanor arrests in New York City this year involved people of color, up 2% from 2015..