Woman holding a cannabis or marijuana joint in her hand. Joint is dipped in oil or wax and sprinkled with kief


New marijuana policy begins in NYC on Saturday

September 01, 2018 - 5:07 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A new marijuana police goes into effect Saturday throughout the five boroughs.

The NYPD will no longer arrest people for smoking the drug in public. Those who light up in the city will instead be met with a $100 fine.

Officials estimates that the policy change will lead to 10,000 fewer arrests.

Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented the change after learning that that 85 percent of people arrested for pot were black or Hispanic. He said the arrests had nothing to do with public safety.

“Make no mistake that smoking marijuana in public is still a crime, you may qualify to get a sum mons but it starts as an arrestable offence,” said Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison.

People can still receive a summons along with the fine. Those who have a warrant, are violent offenders or on parole can still be arrested if caught smoking marijuana.

The drug is still illegal under federal law, despite nine states and the District of Columbia allowing the recreational use of it.

“This is a quality of life issue that we have to deal with,” Harrison explained.

Arrests have been down significantly for pot possession in small quantities.