The City Council this week enacted a law prohibiting most employers from testing new employees for marijuana. While people who drive commercial vehicles, serve as police officers or take care of children, among others, are exempted from the law, the Big Apple has elevated potheads into a new protected class.
Manhattan DA Cy Vance thinks marijuana should be made legal. But the data he has cited in recent discussions with the council belie his rhetoric and make it clear that legalization is a bad idea.
Vance told the council in February, for example, that “in 2017, we prosecuted a total of 5,453 people for marijuana possession. Of those, only 6 percent had a violent conviction at any point in their lives.” Therefore, he concluded, “this is not a particularly violent cohort of individuals.”
Not being convicted of a violent crime is a low bar to set. The fact that “only” 6 percent of pot arrestees are violent criminals only raises more questions: How many people carry a conviction for violent crime?
Seth Barron is an associate editor of City Journal and project director of the NYC Initiative at the Manhattan Institute.
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