Five NY Counties With High Marijuana Arrest Rates

May 15, 2019

With lawmakers considering legalization of marijuana in New York, federal data shows about 5 percent of all arrests in the state are for possession of the drug.

Hamilton County tops the list for marijuana possession arrests in New York: 44 percent of all arrests there in 2016 were for possession. Columbia County ranks number two followed by Washington County, where John Winchell is undersheriff.

"Marijuana is still a gateway drug. I'm not looking forward to legalization."

Winchell cites the rural nature of the county and its eastern border with Vermont, where recreational use of pot is legal, as reasons for its proliferation there.

Livingston County is fourth on the list and Schoharie County fifth.