According to a report from the Drug Policy Alliance, New York City has the most marijuana arrests in the country, and two minorities are the majority of those arrested for it.
With an average age under 30, 86 percent of the 50,383 people arrested in 2010 for what are mostly low-level pot possession offenses are black and Latino. This is a drastic jump from 2005 when just 29,752 people were arrested for similar offenses. Now, 2010 marks the 6th consecutive year that pot possession arrests have increased in NYC.
And while blacks and Latinos are the majority of those arrested, a 2009 report revealed that blacks, whites, Latinos and Native Americans are all about equally as likely to be drug users (around seven and ten percent).
So though all communities are using drugs evenly, blacks and Latinos are the ones being arrested for it most often, and as Kyung Ji Rhee, director of the Institute for Juvenile Justice Reforms and Alternatives said in a statement, “These 50,000 arrests for small amounts of marijuana can have devastating consequences for New Yorkers and their families, including: permanent criminal records, loss of financial aid, possible loss of child custody, loss of public housing and a host of other collateral damage. It’s not a coincidence that the neighborhoods with high marijuana arrests are the same neighborhoods with high stop-and-frisks and high juvenile arrests.”