One year ago New York City officials downgraded holding small amounts of pot from an arrest-worthy offense to one that will now only get you a ticket.
The results of that policy are in, and they’re impressive.
New York state’s Division of Criminal Justice has released records that show a 40 percent decrease in marijuana-related arrests on the streets of the Big Apple between late October 2014 and late October of this year.
City pot busts went from 29,906 to 18,120, the records show.
The New York Post says that pot tickets are surging, however, with cops on track to issue 16,000 of them this year versus 13,378 last year.
“Possession of small amounts, with certain exceptions, is not considered a high enough level of offense to merit the time and resources the Department spends when arresting people, or the potential associated consequences of criminal justice involvement for the arrestees,” NYC top cop Bill Bratton said last year.
Decriminalization advocates argued that cannabis arrests unfairly targeted people of color, who would fill jail cells, clog up the courts, and complicate their lives for nothing.
“This new policy will reduce unnecessary arrests for minor marijuana possession and put an end to an era where many of young New Yorkers were being arrested and saddled with criminal records for minor violations,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said last year.