Mayor de Blasio Tells The NYPD To Stop Arresting People For Smoking Weed In Public
Over the weekend, Mayor de Blasio told the NYPD to stop arresting people for smoking weed in public.
"With marijuana legalization likely to occur in our state in the near future, it is critical our city plans for the public safety, health, and financial consequences involved," Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.
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The Mayor has ordered the NYPD to issue summons to people smoking cannabis in public instead of arresting them. This is the same action take when people are caught in possession of small amounts of weed in New York. Last week, Mayor de Blasio ordered the police department to create a 30-day working group aimed at reforming how the department handles marijuana cases. This move comes after the New York Times reported that people are being disproportionately arrested for cannabis-related incidents based on race.
As of 2017, two-thirds of New Yorkers are in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis. Cannabis legalization is expected to happen in New York in the near future, as nine other states have now legalized marijuana for recreational use. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act is currently making its rounds in the New York Senate. Currently, the bill has not garnered enough support to be passed, however, if it were to move forward, it would legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults.
For now, the police department is looking into how they treat cases related to weed.
"The Working Group is reviewing possession and public smoking of marijuana to ensure enforcement is consistent with the values of fairness and trust, while also promoting public safety and addressing community concerns," police spokesman Phil Walzak said in a statement.