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  • March 19 2013

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    One Million Hours

    Have you ever wondered how many hours law enforcement officers waste on arresting and processing people for low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession? The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) has the answer, and it’s in the seven digits.

    michael_bloomberg

    Michael Bloomberg (Photo by Time.com)

    The DPA reviewed low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests carried out by the New York Police Department (NYPD) during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure and found that NYPD used approximately 1,000,000 hours of police officer time to make 440,000 marijuana possession arrests over 11 years. That’s 1,000,000 hours that could have been spent investigating and solving serious, violent crimes. And that is just one city.

    Additionally, the report, which was prepared by professor of sociology at Queens College Dr. Harry Levine, a recognized expert on marijuana possession arrests, estimates that the people arrested by NYPD for marijuana possession have spent 5,000,000 hours in police custody over the last decade.

    The only people who profit from a police force high on marijuana arrests are the real predators. How many more hours will be squandered until lawmakers realize that targeting non-violent marijuana users is putting our communities at risk?

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