NYC Urges Public to Call 911 on Pot Smokers

In spite of strained government resources, an ongoing pandemic, and concerns over criminal justice inequities, New York City’s Health and Safety Portal advises residents to call 911 if they see someone smoking pot.

I wish we were kidding

“According to NYC.gov and the New York Police Department, the act of smoking marijuana qualifies as an emergency, and citizens should call 911 to report it. This instruction helps ensure that a stark racial disparity in arrests continues, and also raises the risk of nonviolent crimes escalating into problematic and potentially dangerous confrontations,” writes Chris Roberts at The Observer.

“It’s also yet another example of how police resources are used—and perhaps misused—in New York City for lack of any better alternatives, as there’s simply no one else to call.”

A recent analysis from the American Civil Liberties Union found that Black people are 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. 


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