Using Data to Make Sense of a Racial Disparity in NYC Marijuana Arrests

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We tried to avoid jumping to conclusions before trying every avenue we could think of.The Police Department only recently started trying to explain its marijuana arrests. In a privately owned Upper East Side apartment, residents can call the building manager if marijuana smoke is wafting through the windows or air ducts. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | SubscribeRelated CoverageSurest Way to Face Marijuana Charges in New York: Be Black or HispanicMay 13, 2018ImageAdvertisement Cynthia Nixon, a high-wattage candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, has framed legalizing marijuana as a racial justice issue, pushing Gov. People smoke walking their dogs in the West Village, and they smoke in apartment building lobbies in the South Bronx.

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Using Data to Make Sense of a Racial Disparity in NYC Marijuana Arrests

ImageIn the precinct covering the predominantly black Queens Village neighborhood, the marijuana arrest rate is significantly higher than in nearby Forest Hills, which is predominantly white.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times

By Benjamin Mueller

May 13, 2018

If you’ve walked around New York City lately, there’s a good chance you’ve smelled weed. People smoke walking their dogs in the West Village, and they smoke in apartment building lobbies in the South Bronx. They smoke outside bars and restaurants and in the park.

White people largely don’t get arrested for it. Black and Hispanic people do, despite survey after survey saying people of most races smoke at similar rates.

So after a senior police official recently testified to the City Council that there was a simple justification — he said more people call...

Read the full article @ NY Times