NYPD Marijuana Arrests Scandal Blows Up Again

March 2012 protest of NYC stop and frisk violations
A front page story on The Huffington Post reported on another New York marijuana arrests report by our friend Prof. Harry Levine, this one with Loren Siegel (formerly of ACLU) and DPA's Gabriel Sayegh. It's the best one yet, or at a minimum the title is the best one yet:

"NYPD Spent 1 Million Hours Making 440,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests Over Last Decade"
 

Many of those hours involved overtime pay too. It really sums up the stupidity of it all, in a pretty special way. (The injustices were addressed last week.)

Also, there's a lawsuit, and a judge told NYPD to stop "stop and frisk" arrests in the meanwhile. (But have they?) And Gov. Cuomo continues to push for full decrim to plug the "open view" loophole officers have abused to make all these arrests.

Phil is working on a story for the Chronicle, but there are some links in the meanwhile.

Location: 
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Prohibition equates to more gun control

 

Prohibition has diverted police resources away from other law enforcement activities with the result that violent crime and crime against property is driven far higher than it would have been otherwise. To the extent that communities divert law enforcement resources from violent crimes to illegal drug offenses the risk of punishment for engaging in violent crime is reduced. The National Firearms Act of 1934 was actually a direct response to the acute rise in prohibition (1919-33) engendered gun violence. PROHIBITION EQUATES TO MORE VIOLENT CRIME WHICH LEADS TO MORE CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada reviewed 15 studies that evaluated the association between violence and drug law enforcement. "Our findings suggest that increasing drug law enforcement is unlikely to reduce drug market violence. Instead, the existing evidence base suggests that gun violence and high homicide rates may be an inevitable consequence of drug prohibition and that disrupting drug markets can paradoxically increase violence." http://tinyurl.com/c4uyecn During alcohol prohibition all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men, while battling over turf, died every day on inner-city streets. A vast fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed! Sound familiar? Prohibitionists and their gun-control criminal friends who live in a crack-house called Congress are having a ball. And it's all on our tab.

What happened to Katz

Katz was busted last week while speeding and smoking weed.  This is the same New York assemblyman who voted no on medical marijuana.

That should be the scandal.

Bloomberg is an Embarassment

 

If I were a New Yorker this little Napoleon mayor who seeks to legislate behavior would embarrass me. Bloomberg should get on a yacht and sail into oblivion. NYC courts should overthrow marijuana possession cases prosecuted against its black citizens as they have borne the brunt of its racist and stupid policy. Meanwhile a NYC property-crime victim cannot get a cop to take fingerprints when a nice set is on the windowpane. "That only happens on TV,” they say.

 

How long before New Yorkers en-masse do away with this jim crow policy.

Another aspect of this

Another aspect of this argument, as one which moves firmly in to the realms of practicality and identifiable cost to society, is how much the current system costs the state. This is a common pro-legalisation argument, and in this sense we must consider it against the idea of cost to the state in terms of healthcare. Even if legalisation does result in an increased cost to the state for resulting healthcare (both mental and physical), if this is ultimately less than the cost of keeping it illegal, this anti-legalisation argument surely falls down.

This happened to my brother.

This happened to my brother. His charges were dropped (the police were just harassing him, a common thing here) but they had already auctioned off his car. He got a lawyer and tried to get them to give him the value of the car, or a bone or anything. But in the end, he could get nothing in return for his car they stole. Not even an apology. This happened in Illinois several years ago. It was only a year or two after these legal theft laws went into effect.

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