The NY Daily News reports that as the city tries to cut the number of marijuana arrests, East Harlem and the Lower East Side have gone to pot.
The two Manhattan neighborhoods have the most low-level marijuana cases handled by the Legal Aid Society, from the beginning of the year through August 11, 2017, the agency’s data shows.
Also high on the list are Hell’s Kitchen, Times Square and Morrisania in the Bronx.
Legal Aid took on 5,934 misdemeanor and violation pot cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 11 — a slight decrease from the 6,180 it had during the same period last year, according to the agency.
City and police officials say there has been a nearly 40% drop in the number of marijuana arrests since 2014 as part of a policy shift by Mayor de Blasio’s administration.
But critics say black and Hispanic New Yorkers are still unfairly targeted.
“This data shows that our clients from communities of color are still bearing the brunt of overzealous NYPD enforcement for marijuana possession,” said Redmond Haskins, spokesman for Legal Aid.
“While these arrests are down since the height of stop-and-frisk, the profiling and disproportionate targeting of black and brown New Yorkers for low-level offenses of this kind remains alive and well.”
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