Query this: Two young black men are walking down the street deeply engrossed in conversation about the recent NBA championship finals. They are arguing, gesticulating and sometimes using foul language but otherwise not doing anything illegal or improper. A law enforcement officer is driving down the opposite side of the street, he stops his car and yells out to the youth – Come over here! They stop and ask if he’s talking to them, the officer replies yes, he is and that he’s ordering them to come over to the car so he can question them. They cross the street as directed where they are then subjected to a search and frisk, finding nothing the officer then says he is issuing them a summons for jaywalking for crossing in the middle of the street. When the youth vigorously protest the summons with words like, “this is bullshit” and calling it the result of ‘entrapment’ they are arrested and charged with ‘disorderly conduct’.
Have they committed a crime? The two young men crossed the street because they were ordered by the police officer to do so, but they did jaywalk.
Now if you believe as I do that is fundamentally unfair and unjust for police to order a person to commit an offense and then charge them with the commission of the offense as if it were an independent action, then you understand the essential problem with the NYPD’s marijuana law enforcement practices. As described in a recent lawsuit a similar pract