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A Step In the Right Direction: NYPD to Stop Arresting People for Smoking Weed In Public 

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed on Tuesday a new policy regarding residents and marijuana enforcement.

The mayor plans on introducing a new marijuana policy later this year in September which states that NYPD will no longer arrest people for smoking marijuana in public and over 10,000 fewer arrests will be made within the next year, WABC reported.

The new law follows after several people accused the former policy of constantly targeting minorities and demonstrating excessively harsh consequences. However, smoking marijuana in public is still illegal, but instead of officers arresting individuals they’ll be summoned instead beginning Sept 1. If a person receives a summon, he or she will be forced to go to court and pay a $100 fine. The new policy does not apply to those who are parolees, drivers, those who refused to show ID and a few others.

“We know there is a bigger discussion happening across the nation and at the state level on legalization of marijuana,” de Blasio said in a tweet. “But until that debate is resolved, we’re doing what we can to make our city safer and fairer for all New Yorkers,” De Blasio stated on Twitter.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams said he’s hopeful they’ll be more civil summonses instead of “criminal, but we are moving in the right direction.”

Critics blasted the city weeks ago after studies showed a massive racial disparity in marijuana arrests. Blacks and Hispanics were heavily targeted, while the arrests did not match up with marijuana usage rates.

New York district attorneys unveiled earlier this year that they were acting to terminate the prosecution of marijuana offenses according to the news station.

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