Alice Speri writes in the NY Times’ City Room:
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More people were arrested last year in New York City on charges of marijuana possession than during the entire 19-year period from 1978 to 1996, according to an analysis released this morning by the Drug Policy Alliance.
Last year, the sixth year in a row that marijuana possession arrests increased, 50,383 people were arrested, according to a report recently released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and obtained by the policy alliance, which advocates for reform of drug laws.
The figure adds up to 140 arrests a day, making marijuana possession the leading reason for arrest in the city, and represents an 8 percent increase over 2009 and a 69 percent increase since 2005, the alliance reported in a statement issued Thursday.
From 1978 to 1996, there were 49,326 marijuana possession arrests, according to an analysis for the alliance done by Harry Levine, a sociology professor at Queens College and an expert on marijuana enforcement.