The Drug Policy Alliance released its latest findings and calculated that the city is spending about $75 million a year to prosecute people for minor possession of pot. Curiously, many of these small time offenders, who happen to be black and Latino, should be given desk appearance tickets, per state law, but that rarely happens.
Instead, the NYPD has been sneakily deploying underhanded tactics—that some might call illegal—to get around this, further sucking up valuable resources.
The group writes:
In New York State, possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is not a crime for which someone can be arrested and fingerprinted. It is only a crime if the marijuana is openly displayed or smoked, which was not the case for most people arrested. Therefore, in order to make these possession arrests, the police usually had to trick or intimate young people into revealing their marijuana, or search the person’s pockets and possessions, often illegally.