About a dozen demonstrators from Empire State NORML, the New York State chapter of the marijuana law reform group, gathered on the steps of City Hall yesterday in the spirit of a healthier St. Patrick’s Day. Specifically, they wanted to highlight the importance of alternative forms of intoxication during the green beer-bathed festivities.
“There is a safer alternative to pools of vomit in the streets,” said Doug Greene, the Legislative Director of Empire State NORML (ha—his name is “Greene”).
The NYPD made more than 50,680 arrests for low-level marijuana offenses in 2011, once again making low-level pot possession the number one cause of arrest in NYC—which according to NORML cost the city $75 million (this all despite NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly specifically ordering officers to stop arresting people who bring small quantities of marijuana into open view during a stop-and-frisk).
Comparatively, 16 percent of New Yorkers reported binge drinking in a 30 day period in 2010.