WNYC reporter Ailsa Chang reports on the curious link between stop and frisks and marijuana arrests in New York City. It's curious because small-scale possession of marijuana in New York State isn't a crime (it is a non-arrestable ticketable "violation"). Nor do drugs that are "immediately apparent" based on "plain-feel" during a "Terry Frisk" (for weapons) give police justification to search (this is unique to New York State based on People v. Diaz).
I also did a little research based on the nifty map provided at the above link. There are 76 precincts in New York City. In 2010, 19 police precincts with the highest arrest rates for the lowest level marijuana-possession had 48 percent of the city's murders and 39 percent of city's robberies. But I'm not certain what percent of the NYC's population lives in those 19 precincts. Anybody have data for population by precinct?
I'm briefly quoted in the story. And you can read what I've already written about stop and frisks by clicking on the "stop and frisk" tag below. This story is a bit different because it focuses on illegal searches, which are never OK. Police are given so much leeway within the law that I can't help but think that cops who conduct illegal searches are, at best, lazy and stupid.