Pot Arrests Top 50K in 2011 Despite NYPD Order to Avoid "Deceiving" Tactics

State Division of Criminal Justice figures show arrests for the lowest-ranking marijuana misdemeanor rose slightly to 50,700.

By Jennifer Peltz
|  Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012  |  Updated 12:56 PM EDT
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New state data show New York City police arrested more than 50,000 people on low-level marijuana charges last year.

That's despite a drop-off after officers were told not to use tactics that critics decry as tricking people into getting arrested.     

State Division of Criminal Justice figures show arrests for the lowest-ranking marijuana misdemeanor rose slightly to 50,700.

The Drug Policy Alliance obtained the statistics and provided them to The Associated Press. The alliance opposes the national war on drugs.     

In New York, small amounts of marijuana must be openly visible to warrant arrest. But critics say police arrest people after finding the drug in pockets or bags.     

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly reminded officers of the law in September. He says most arrests result from officers seeing the drug in public.

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