Today’s news:

Cops targets Prospect Heights potheads

for The Brooklyn Paper

Cops in the 77th Precinct have stepped up their battle against smoking — pot smoking, that is — busting on average two people a day over the last two weeks.

Since June 1, officers from the sprawling command covering Prospect Heights to Bedford-Stuyvesant have arrested 34 people for marijuana possession, according to a law enforcement source. It’s a large number for one of the smallest precincts in the borough.

Deputy Inspector Elvio Capocci, the 77th’s commanding officer, said the arrests aren’t part of a neighborhood-wide cannabis crackdown.

“I wouldn’t say we have a lot [of marijuana arrests],” Capocci said. “Our narcotics arrests are on the rise — which is a good thing — but those arrests don’t include marijuana possession.”

But Allen St. Pierre, the executive director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the 77th Precinct’s surging arrest numbers are “aberrational.”

“It’s utterly shocking,” he said. “Not only this section of Brooklyn, but New York City stands alone as the hotbed of marijuana arrests in the country.”

In two recent Prospect Heights incidents from this week’s police blotter, two tokers were collared in similar fashion.

Last Thursday, a man was nabbed for smoking weed in the entrance of an apartment building on St. Marks Avenue between Grand and Classon avenues at 7:40 pm, cops said. Closer investigation revealed that he had 46 more joints on him.

The suspect, Jason Torre, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was released from jail, pending a trial.

The next day, almost exactly the same thing happened (allegedly, of course!).

This time, the suspected Bob Marley fan was on Park Place between Grand and Classon at around 10 pm when cops seized him and charged him with possession of the wacky tobacky.

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Reader Feedback

mike from GP says:
What's the point? Why arrest people for smoking cannabis?
June 16, 2011, 8:05 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
I once got popped for a joint, showed up in court, where they were dismissing charges against all
cannabis cases, no fine, no nothing.
So yeah, what is the point ?
June 16, 2011, 8:35 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
You are more likely to get a ticket and have to pay the fine for smoking a legal cigarette in the park - Mayor for Life Mike doesn't want that, but he will take the tax money it generates thank you very much.
June 16, 2011, 9:04 am
Daniel Sieradski from Boerum Hill says:
Sign color of change's petition to Mayor Bloomberg to stop the NYPD's racially-targeted marijuana arrest crusade in NYC: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/nypd

Also sign the ACLU's petition to the NY State Assembly and Senate to pass Assembly Bill 7620/ Senate Bill 5187 which would put an end to these arrests once and for all: https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3309
June 16, 2011, 10:53 am
gaston from Prospect Hieghts says:
If the 77th has the resources to arrest potheads, then they should also prevent real dangers in Prospect Heights, like break-ins and running through stop signs. When my neighbors complain about problems here, nobody ever mentions pot smoking.
June 16, 2011, 11:06 am
judahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Reality is a lot of these arrest starts with the illegal "stop & frisk", be it on your stoop, street or sidewalk.
June 16, 2011, 12:21 pm
Ace from New Utrecht says:
LEGALIZE it!
June 17, 2011, 11:13 am

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