About a week after controversy erupted over New York City marijuana arrest numbers, the mayor of the Big Apple is officially asking police to stop arresting people for smoking cannabis.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio officially asked the city's police department to stop arresting people for smoking marijuana. Instead, NYPD will give people a summons for doing so, which is the same punishment for when police officers find people with small amounts of cannabis in their possession. The NYPD will now convene a study to figure out how best to implement this new policy, and they will release their recommendations within the next 30 days. The new policy wouldn't officially begin until the end of the summer.
De Blasio's decision comes less than a week after a press conference he held with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance about changing the city's marijuana policies. Vance said he would no longer prosecute marijuana possession or smoking cases.
The press conference was in response to news that the city arrested more than 5,500 people for marijuana-related charges last year, despite cannabis being decriminalized in New York City. The arrest records also showed that minorities were disproportionately arrested for marijuana charges.
Marijuana's been in the news quite a bit in New York lately, which leads many people to believe the state could legalize the drug recreationally in the near future. That would certainly be one way to fix all these arrest issues.