The Guv has finally noticed that spending $75 million a year to put pot-smokers behind bars is too much. Speaking of marijuana arrests, what’s with all these “crack pipe with residue” arrests? Thousands of peeps thrown into the meat grinder of the Criminal Injustice System and faced with up to a year in jail just for having dirty crack pipes in their pockets.
It’s not a crime in NY to have a crack pipe. It’s not a crime to have smoked crack an hour ago (unless maybe you’re driving a car). The crime is knowing possession of crack. Defined as a substance “chemically equivalent or identical to cocaine.”
So if you’ve smoked it up, you know you don’t have any more. Even if a lab test can detect trace amounts in that brown stuff, all that shows is that there was crack in the pipe some unknown time before. It doesn’t show you knowingly possess it now. Cops got no business arresting you.
Our friend C-95 puts it most eloquently:
Whatever I do, I can’t get it on, cause once I’ve smoked it my dope is gone.
No matter how much I try and try, torching that black shit just won’t get me high.
Resi-do-this and resi-do-that, I’ll tell you what’s a righteous fac: that smudge inna stem ain’t nothin but wack.
And if that’s not enough to convince a judge, take a tip from our Midwestern cousins: Kabat v. State, 251 NW2d 38 (Wis 1977); State v. Kopp, 325 SW3d 466 (Mo.Ct.App. 2010).