The History of Weed Convictions in New York

It is difficult to provide a precise number for how many people have been arrested for cannabis crimes in New York, as the data varies depending on the source and the specific time period being considered. However, it is clear that a significant number of people have been arrested for cannabis offenses in New York, particularly in recent decades.

According to data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there were over 44,000 arrests for marijuana possession in New York in 2020. This represents a significant decrease from previous years, as arrests for marijuana possession have been declining in New York since the mid-2000s. In 2011, for example, there were over 73,000 arrests for marijuana possession in the state.

It is worth noting that the decline in arrests for marijuana possession in New York has coincided with changes in state law regarding the use of cannabis. In 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and allowed for the expungement of past marijuana possession convictions. The law went into effect on August 28, 2019, and it is likely that the decline in arrests for marijuana possession in New York is at least partially due to the change in the law.

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Despite the decline in arrests for marijuana possession, there are still many people in New York who have been arrested for cannabis offenses in the past. According to data from the Drug Policy Alliance, there were over 800,000 arrests for marijuana possession in New York between 1978 and 2018. This represents a significant number of people who have been arrested for cannabis offenses in the state over the past four decades.

It is important to note that the impact of cannabis arrests has disproportionately affected certain communities in New York. Data from the Drug Policy Alliance shows that Black and Latino New Yorkers have been disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession, even though rates of marijuana use are similar across racial and ethnic groups. This has led to calls for further reform of marijuana laws in New York in order to address issues of racial injustice.

Overall, it is clear that a significant number of people have been arrested for cannabis offenses in New York, particularly in the past. While arrests for marijuana possession have declined in recent years due to changes in state law, there are still many people in the state who have been affected by cannabis arrests in the past. It is important to continue to address issues of racial injustice and reform marijuana laws in order to ensure that all New Yorkers are treated fairly and justly.

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