Under NYPD enforcement guidelines outlined in a March 31 memo that cited the new pot [legalization], cops are banned from searching a vehicle’s trunk just because they smell pot during a traffic stop.
The “sweeping changes” — which took effect immediately — also prohibit cops from searching anyone just for toking up “almost anywhere that cigarette smoking is allowed.”
But large numbers of gun busts have typically been made by cops who smell fresh or burnt marijuana after pulling over a car, according to NYPD sources.
Last year, 33 percent of all gun-possession arrests resulted from vehicle stops, with a majority of those also involving weed, a source familiar with the matter said.
Before the new law went into effect, that number rose to 45 percent this year, the source said.
NYPD statistics show that there were a total of 1,409 gun arrests — or an average of 108 a week — from Jan. 4 through April 4.
But during the five weeks that ended May 9, most of which were covered by the new pot law, there were just 209 gun busts — cutting the average by more than half to just 53 a week.
At the same time, shootings during April skyrocketed 166 percent — to 149 from 56 during the same month in 2020, according to NYPD CompStat data released last week.
— Larry Celona and Bruce Golding in Up in smoke: New weed law leads to drop in gun busts, NYPD sources say