A new study from Human Rights Watch found that the overwhelming majority of people who are arrested in New York City for marijuana possession are never arrested for a subsequent violent offense.
The study tracked arrests over a 15-year period, during which more than 500,000 people – who were mostly black or Latino – were arrested for having small amounts of weed in public view. Human Rights Watch tracked 30,000 people and found that only about 3.1 percent were ever later arrested for a violent crime.
Cyrus Vance, the powerful D.A. for Manhattan, said that there are considerable long-term economic consequences for the people arrested, including being barred from housing and obstacles to employment.
“The human cost to each one of these people and their families is serious and it is real,” Vance said.