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As the state’s lawmakers contemplate creating recreational marijuana legal, new Federal Bureau of Investigations information shows practically five% of all arrests in New York are for possession of the drug.

All round, around six% of arrests nationwide resulted from marijuana possession, according to lately released county-level Federal Bureau of Investigations information for 2016, the most current out there. The information tracks arrests, not people and reporting is ordinarily produced for the most severe allegation. 

As is the case across the nation, there is wide disparity amongst New York’s counties when it comes to marijuana possession arrests, reflecting differing levels of enforcement. Health-related use has been legal in the state due to the fact 2014.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged that New York will pass a law to legalize recreational pot ahead of the Legislature adjourns in June. Plans to include things like such legislation in the lately-passed $175 billion state price range fizzled, as lawmakers could not resolve difficulties more than how significantly to tax it, exactly where the income would go, who could develop it, how preceding marijuana arrests would be handled and which communities could opt out of enabling sales inside their borders.

Amongst the state’s 62 counties, Monroe County comes in close to the bottom in marijuana arrests as a percentage of all arrests, with these arrests comprising just about four% of total arrests. Meanwhile the lowest percentage of marijuana arrests comes in Suffolk County on Extended Island, exactly where just three% of arrests had been for cannabis possession.

Right here are the prime 5 counties for marijuana possession arrests in New York:

Hamilton County

This 1,808 square-mile county in north-central New York tops the state’s marijuana arrest list. Practically half — 44% — of all arrests in the county in 2016 had been for possession of the drug. Hamilton’s numbers are the second-highest in the nation, coming behind only Dooley County, Georgia, exactly where 55% of all arrests had been for marijuana possession.

Columbia County 

In this 63,000-resident county in the Hudson Valley, marijuana possession arrests accounted for about 23% of all arrests in 2016. Of 1,729 total arrests that year, 378 had been for possessing cannabis.

Washington County

In this rural Capital District county bordering Vermont — exactly where recreational marijuana became legal final summer — practically 18% of arrests in 2016 were for possession. 

Livingston County

In this Finger Lakes county, which comprises 640 square miles of land and consists of the campus of the state University College at Geneseo, about 15% of arrests had been for cannabis possession. Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty has been a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization, citing substantial issues with public security.

“We are in opposition of marijuana,” Dougherty mentioned on behalf of the state Sheriffs and Police Chief’s associations for the duration of a press occasion in February. “We realize that drugs exist and when controlled by a physician or in a controlled atmosphere, they are beneficial, but creating a recreational drug legal is hazardous for highway security — and that is the message these days.”

Scoharie County

This peripheral Capital District county has a population of about 32,750 persons. In 2016, about 15% of 775 arrests produced there had been for marijuana possession. 

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