Pot Laws Up In Smoke? NYC Plans To Dial Down Enforcement Of Marijuana Laws

June 19, 2018 - 11:08 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- With a report from the New York State Health Commissioner recommending legalization of marijuana, the city is planning to dial down enforcement of marijuana laws.

Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill announced plans Tuesday for police officers to start issuing summonses instead of making arrests for people smoking pot.

The mayor says too many people arrested for pot in New York are black or Hispanic.

Marijuana smoking will still be a crime, but instead of being put in cuffs and hauled off to the local precinct, you'll be issued a summons, 1010 WINS Roger Stern reported.

“Nobody’s destiny should hinge on a minor non-violent offense,” said de Blasio. “Neighborhood policing has helped to bring officers and community together, but we still have more work to do to right the wrongs in the criminal justice system. This new policy will help reduce unnecessary arrests, while making our City fairer and safer.” 

“We know that it is not productive to arrest people who have no prior criminal history,” said O’Neill. “In fact, it hampers our efforts to build trust and strengthen relationships with the people we serve, and it does nothing to further the NYPD’s mission of ridding our streets of those responsible for violence and disorder."

Some people will still be subject to arrest: Those who are on parole or caught smoking pot while driving a car, Stern reported.

Those who have existing criminal warrant, don't have identification or have a recent documented history of violence also face arrest.

The policy goes into effect Sept. 1.