In a rare move in favor of public safety, a mayor has ordered police to stop arresting people for smoking cannabis in public.
New York, NY – After multiple district attorneys in the state announced that they will refuse to prosecute people who are arrested for possessing marijuana, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the NYPD to stop arresting people for smoking marijuana in public.
Although small-time possession is not currently a jailable offense, people can still be arrested if they are caught smoking in public. Despite these recent changes with cannabis laws in the city, possession and public smoking can still carry a fine and court summons, and any changes to the NYPD's policy in regards to public smoking will not take effect until the end of the summer.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Phil Walzak confirmed with CNN that the department will be adopting this new policy.
"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," Walzak said.