You’ll no longer be arrested for smoking in public in NYC.
On June 19, 2018, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the NYPD will no longer arrest people for smoking cannabis in public.
“We know there is a bigger discussion happening across the nation and at the state level on legalization of marijuana, but until that debate is resolved, we’re doing what we can to make our city safer and fairer for all New Yorkers,” he said in a statement.
While the move won’t make it legal to smoke weed in NYC, police will now issue a criminal summons instead of arresting people caught smoking in public. De Blasio says changing the city’s policy on cannabis will lead to as many as 10,000 fewer arrests. However, not everyone will be safe smoking weed under the new policy. Parolees, and people driving while smoking might still be arrested.
Studies have shown a significant racial disparity in cannabis arrests in New York City. The New York Times found that in the first three months of 2018, 89% of 4,000 people arrested for weed were Black or Hispanic. But hopefully this new policy puts a big dent in that percentage.