International Cannabis Business Conference

New York Marijuana Arrests Down 32%

Marijuana arrests that peaked in New York City under Mayors Guiliani and Bloomberg, are starting to come down.

Lowest-level marijuana arrests declined for the second year in a row in New York, from 39,230 in 2012 to 26,644 in 2013, a drop of 32%.

Last year, the drop was 23%, from 50,688 arrests in 2011, the peak year in former Mayor Bloomberg's crusade against public pot smoking or possession.

Courtesy of Harry Levine

It all started with Bloomberg's predecessor, Rudolph Guiliani. In 1994, his first year in office, there were 3,141 marijuana arrests in New York (double the previous year). By 2000, during Guiliani's second term, that number had swelled to 51,267, the most ever arrested for marijuana in New York in one year. Keep in mind that under previous mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins, marijuana arrest totals were as low as 774 in one year (1991).

Courtesy of Harry Levine

"Yes, the arrests are down significantly from their peak years," Harry Levine tells CelebStoner. "But they are still very high." A sociology professor at Queens College, Levine is the foremost expert on marijuana arrests in New York.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf, co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and the former editor of High Times.