Brooklyn DA Wants to Arrest Fewer People for Weed Possession

July 9, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson is taking steps to reel in the pointless War on Drugs in New York. Many of those charged and arrested in Brooklyn for pot possession will have their cases dropped without even going to court. “Given that these cases are ultimately — and predictably — dismissed, the burdens that they pose on the system and the individual are difficult to justify. We are pouring money into an endeavor that produces no public safety benefit,” Thompson told the AP.

The number of low level possession arrests in New York has gone up dramatically over the years — from 2,100 misdemeanor arrests a year between 1978 through 1995, to as high to 50,700 in 2011 and 28,600 last year. Many have attributed the recent statistics to racially skewed police procedures like “stop and frisk.” The AP points out that 86% of arrests have been black and Hispanic people, while many studies have shown that 18 to 25-year-old white people are significantly more likely to smoke weed than people of color in the same age range. (Photo: @Don Goofy)