After years of wasted time and unnecessary penalties, marijuana arrests are dropping in New York City. Just not rapidly. 

Stop-and-frisks have are down 86 percent over the same period last year, but, as the Associated Press points out, marijuana arrests have only dropped by nine percent:

Arrests for the lowest-level marijuana crime fell 34 percent in the first quarter of 2013 — and 9 percent in the first quarter of this year, to roughly 7,000, according to state Division of Criminal Justice Services data obtained by The Associated Press. Both comparisons are to the same period in the previous years.

Police Commissioner William Bratton noted Friday that this year's numbers continue a downward trend, and he said he expects the arrests to drop further. Mayor Bill de Blasio decried the arrests during his campaign last year, and police have been discussing the issue with district attorneys.

This finding has triggered the argument that police tactics, like stop-and-frisk, are still in place. "The fact that there's a small drop isn't that significant, in that we know that these arrests are still going on in ways that they shouldn't be," New York's Drug Policy Alliance Gabriel Sayegh told the AP.

Change is a slow process, but the more things supposedly change, the more they stay the same.

[via Associated Press and NBC New York]

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