NYPD Loosening Up On Marijuana Arrests

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly has ordered his officers to stop arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

Marijuana advocates gathered at Police Plaza on Tuesday and called it an important first step.

“We are here to thank commissioner Kelly for doing the right thing. I can be the harshest critic of this administration when I have to be, but we also have to be thankful for when sound practices and sane policy changes are implemented. So, we thank commissioner Kelly,” said City Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Mark-Viverito said she doesn’t want to see another generation of young people criminalized.

“500,000 New Yorkers have been adversely affected by this policy. We’re thankful that the commissioner has decided to change it,” said City Council member Hakeem Jeffries. “I definitely plan to talk to Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo about providing some redress for the tens of thousands of lives that have been ruined as a result of the explosion of marijuana arrests.”

Jeffries wants their records expunged.

Do you believe there should be some form of marijuana legalization in New York State? Sound off below!

More from Rich Lamb
  • Ray Genovese

    You’ve got much bigger fish to fry. Thank you

  • Lucius Junius Brutus

    Why “Thanks to Ray Kelly”? This has been a ,(pardon the pun), Burning issue since the mid sixties, when the police purposely used marijuana arrests for “seeds, stems and a roaches”
    ( smoked marijuana cigarette butts, with no some burned paper and smell left”, as excuses to send 16 year old kids away for years in upstate maximum security prisons, like Attica, where a number were murdered by other inmates and guards during the riot there.
    This is an issue that should have been eliminated from the public agenda.
    The truth is that The cops enjoyed doing these arrests. I remember it well: the favorite “sport” of Vietnam era cops,(who were exempt fromthe draft as firmly as if they were Rockefellers), was to set up kids and teens and arresting them in a group and then accusing some of selling to others,(sale was a felony), Cops didn’t need evidence because judges and ADA’s were “in” on the whole scam. The only evidence they needed was that everyone had money which had, according to the cops, exchanged hands for the pot,(usually one or two joints.), because the cops said they “saw it” happen.
    While those particular and that generation of cops are gone , now. The procedures they used linger on , and on, and on. . .
    Ray Kelly COULD have done this the last time he was commishioner, years ago.
    And every time these laws have been “eased” but not repealed, they are soon straitened, again, to allow the police to declare a new “drug crime wave” and start arresting thousands of otherwise innocent people who are dragged through the system, by laughing, often drunken, cops,(who often steal all the money and drugs from their victims they can get away with). They know that if they’re arrested, they and their families need only mention they are in a “police” family, and they will “walk” no matter what crime they are accused of, and they never get tickets; I wonder why?
    This is the exact same kind of “policing” Serpico and David Durk fought against, back in the 70’s, to no eventual effect. Only now it has become more vicious, racialist and personal.
    Witness Lt. “Tony Baloney” spraying MACE in the faces of young women already in police custody. No one stopped or arrested him. Now he whines that “OHMIGOD!! They know who I am! My family is in danger-they know my name!!!”More likely his poor family is embarassed to associated with such a character.
    Everyone ever arrested for so much as crossing a red light or smoking in a city park has their name and identity forever held in public records by the police, even long after their deaths. “Tony Baloney” has no more to fear then the millions he has helped to push through the system.

    • Steve

      I agree with you. It should be legalized. Doesn’t make sense why isn’t legalized already. I truly believe it is safer than Cigarettes.

  • Steve

    “Dopers” lol. Get off your high horse.

    My choice is what I chose to do. If I’m causing no harm it shouldn’t bother you.
    Your choice is who you chose to be. And if you’re causing no harm then you’re alright with me.

  • Kdog

    So can now can I have a beer on the sidewalk in front of my house without getting a summons?

    • Michael H.

      We still have open container laws in NY. You can’t have the weed out in the open either. There is a specific “public display” clause in NY’s marijuana laws that turn possession into a misdemeanor.

  • Ralph F

    What does a ‘small amount’ equate to?

    • Michael H.

      Possession of less than 25 grams is not a crime in New York State.

      • Ralph F


  • D

    Well if you walk by Madison between 36th-40th on any given day you would already know this is in effect. Smells like a Phish show on most days.

  • Steve

    Thank You Ray Kelly. It’s about time. It doesn’t make sense to arrest peaceful smokers.

  • Amused not misled

    Most of the US still consider small amounts a crime. We just have more dopers (many in office) in NY to say it’s OK to get stoned on weed.

    • mackthinksthissucks

      Before you know it these dopers in office will start allowing people to get all jacked up on caffeine, buzzed on sugary candy and inebriated on alcoholic beverages!

    • Pplrfunny

      this isn’t about politics, it’s about jail over crowding… do you want your tax dollars going to jail some 18 year old kid caught with a couple of grams of pot? It’s a huge waste… the only crime associated with marijuana is the selling and buying of it. I have never heard of someone crashing their car while high, killing someone while high or robbing someone while high..

      • Tommy

        @Pplrfunny – don’t speak logic to this guy…he is the type that thinks that our prisons have an endless supply of beds and if the government says something is illegal..then it must be bad and worthy of long prison senten

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