Marijuana arrests in the Empire State have dropped substantially (by 75%) since New York’s decriminalization law went into effect. Unfortunately, that living arrest rate (even one arrest is too many) does mean that the NYPD still targets some of the city’s pot smokers and view stoners as a public nuisance.
The result of the NYPD’s moderate insistence on still treating pot smoking as a crime has resulted in the worst kind of tragedy and travesty: the needless death of a 17-year-old boy.
Last Thursday, the now deceased Hakeem Kuta was doing what all normal New York teenagers do when the sun sets: smoking weed with his friends in and around an apartment building. A building tenant in the building called 911 to complain about the smell and the disturbance, and rather than sending a security guard over, multiple police officers arrived on the scene.
Thereafter, Kuta and his friends did what any normal, stoned teenagers would do when cops arrive: they ran up the stairs and onto the roof. That’s when the story takes a gut-wrenching turn for the worse:
when the officers got to the roof, some teens jumped to another roof and ran away. But Kuta and his 14-year-old companion were pinned in by a dividing wall. Davis said Kuta then shuffled backward over a ledge and fell. [High Times]
Kuta died from the injuries on Saturday, and just like that, a budding life was stolen from his family and friends over a joint of marijuana–which is both decriminalized and medically in New York.
Were the cops doing their job by arriving on the scene? Should this boy and his friends have not been afraid of exercising their right to smoke marijuana and simply hung around and taken their warning? Yes.
But these are kids we’re talking about, and this is New York City aka the marijuana arrest capital of the world, where blacks and other races have long been the targets of the NYPD’s arm of the law. When cops aggressively come after any group of kids doing kid-like things, human nature tells those kids to run.
Source: The Smokers Club