The Data Collaborative for Justice is pleased to publish, Trends in Marijuana Enforcement in New York State, 1990-2017, which examines trends in marijuana arrests in New York City, Upstate Cities, and the Rest of the State. This report examines trends in all misdemeanor marijuana arrests by penal law code, arrest rates for misdemeanor marijuana possession by demographics, and outcomes of disposition and sentence for marijuana possession arrests.
For main findings, please see our Marijuana Enforcement Research Brief.
For additional policy context, please check out our Marijuana Policy Timeline.
Please find highlights from this report below:
- The number and rate of arrests for marijuana possession were higher in 2017 than in 1990 for the State as a whole and for New York City, Upstate Cities and the Rest of the State but the number and rate of arrests were lower in 2017 than the peaks in New York City and Upstate Cities;
- In 2017, in New York City, the vast majority of misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests (~93%) were for possession of marijuana in public view or public consumption whereas for the Upstate Cities and the Rest of the State, significant percentages of misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests were for possession of between 25 grams to 8 ounces (~60% and ~30% respectively);
- At the state-level, 18-20 year-olds consistently had the highest rates of arrest for marijuana possession, mostly driven by the higher rates of arrest for this group in New York City, but there was more variability by age in Upstate Cities and the Rest of the State; and
- Across all three geographic areas, Blacks and Hispanics consistently had higher rates of arrest for misdemeanor marijuana possession compared to Whites, these racial differences in arrest rates widened over the study period and, in 2017, the racial differences in arrest rates were wider for the Upstate Cities and the Rest of the State compared to New York City.