With seizures of marijuana along the southern border reaching record levels, a memo from the New York Police Department commissioner’s office said it will end arrests for the procession of small portions of pot.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued an internal memo to officers informing them not to report or charge offenders who happen to have small amounts of marijuana.
Kelly’s directive orders officers to overlook misdemeanor marijuana possession when the pot becomes ‘public’ after a person is asked to empty their pockets.
“As arrests for possession of minor amounts of marijuana have exploded over the last 10 years, the NYCLU has been working to protect New Yorkers from these senseless and illegal arrests,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “Today’s disclosure implicitly recognizes that police officers have gone too far. This comes as no surprise to the more than 100,000 people, predominantly black and Latino, who have been arrested over just the last two years.”
New York has already decriminalized the possession of marijuana, but the NYCLU contends police officers target minorities, require them to empty their pockets and then charge them with possession of an illegal substance. The NYCLU also says police officers are suppose to issue a ticket rather than put them in jail and force them to appear before a judge.
“In addition to this new order, however, the NYPD must now commit resources to training and monitoring officers to put an end to its decade-long marijuana arrest program and start complying with the Constitution and New York law. If it does so, we should see a huge drop in the number of marijuana arrests,” Lieberman finished.
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