NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Protesters rallied outside City Hall on Tuesday calling New York City the marijuana arrest capital of the world.

The rally came following the release of a new report by the Drug Police Alliance that found the NYPD spent $75 million annually to arrest 50,000 people for marijuana possession.

Those at the rally charged that constitutional rights and fiscal responsibility were going up in smoke, 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reported.

At a budget hearing later Tuesday, New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito questioned whether the millions would be better directed elsewhere.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks with more on the councilwoman’s argument

Mark-Viverito posed the following question to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly: “Do you think that $75 million, if there were slight adjustments to your policy, could be better spent towards other resources that are needed in your department?”

Kelly said that major crimes were at record lows, adding “something is working in this city.”

When pressed further, Kelly told the Councilwoman that she should work with Albany lawmakers to make a change.

“If you think that the law is wrong, then I’d suggest you and the City Council petition the Legislature to change the law,” Kelly said.

What do you think? Does the city spend too much money policing what many think is a harmless crime? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (6)
  1. john says:

    It`s not the law or the appropriateness of said law but the application of the law and the benefits and costs of doing so.

    It costs too much. Put the money somewhere else…

  2. Aron Kay says:

    the law is totally ludicrous

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  4. pfroehlich2004 says:

    Marijuana should be legalized and regulated just like alcohol and tobacco as it is a far safer substance. Criminalizing people who prefer joints to martinis does nothing to reduce crime. It simply wastes government funds which could be more effectively used elsewhere.

  5. Hiran says:

    Lets face it Marijuana is a drug. Police should enforce the law on drug possession period.

    Don’t try to downgrade it.

    When NYC was crime ridden “Broken windows theory” worked and now that its relatively safer these things are important.

    1. Michael H. says:

      Cannabis is a plant. Nothing more. Possession of said plant is decriminalized in the state of NY so why are NYC cops focusing on harassing citizens for having a harmless plant?

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