NYC’s Marijuana Buy-And-Bust Halted
Opinions in New York City’s police and City Hall are divided over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to put a stop to the marijuana “buy-and-bust” operation. In an effort by the Mayor’s office to regain the support of minorities, the heads of each borough’s narcotics units convened at police headquarters and were told to suspend the initiative. According to one source, they were told, “The powers that be don’t want to see any more of these [pot] arrests.” Mayor de Blasio had vowed to limit arrests for marijuana possession while campaigning last year, saying they have “disastrous consequences” on the relationships between minorities and police.
Of the basic pot arrests this year, Terry Richardson went on record to say 86 percent have been of Black and Hispanic origin. The Drug Policy Alliance and Marijuana Arrest Research Project reported last month that the rate of pot arrests throughout the city hasn’t differed since former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in office.
One side of the divide in opinion regarding the termination states that many times a marijuana arrest would produce a gun or other illegal item on the suspect. Also pointing out the advantages of having their fingerprints and photos on record, should they be necessary in the future. On the other side of the coin, sources say the DA’s office rarely prosecutes for marijuana possession and should be spending their time focusing on the pill and heroin problem in the city.