FYI, Drugs Are Still (Mostly) Illegal, Especially If You're Black and Live in NYC

Abby Zimet


Newly released FBI figures show that drugs - even mere possession - are still the most common cause of arrest, despite pot having been made legal in two states, decriminalized in 15, and medically approved in 20. Last year, police arrested almost 750,000 marijuana consumers, sellers and growers - roughly half of 1.55 million drug busts - making for a drug arrest every 20 seconds and a pot arrest every 45. Even though pot is decriminalized in New York unless in public view, the NYPD's infamous stop-and-frisk finds alot of it: Pot is the #1 offense, taking up 1 million hours over the last decade, because cops ask people to take it out of their pockets while they're looking for the assault rifles they don't have, and then arrest them for the pot because it's better than nothing and helps get the quotas up. Nationwide, meanwhile, violent crime is up - one every 26 seconds - and arrests for it are down. What's wrong with this picture? The group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, cops and prosecutors who know whereof they speak, say, everything.

“These numbers represent a tremendous loss of human potential...Commit a murder or a robbery and the government will still give you a student loan. Get convicted for smoking a joint and you’re likely to lose it. This is supposed to help people get over their drug habit?” - LEAP head Neill Franklin, a 34-year police officer and narcotics detective.

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