Mayor de Blasio to Announce Change in Pot Policy

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill will announce on Tuesday that cops will stop arresting most people caught smoking marijuana.

Instead, the Daily News reports that most people will be given a summons.  The change in policy comes after a 30-day review of the situation.

The goal is to reduce the number of arrests for marijuana crimes and to eliminate the disparity in those arrests.  Studies show that all races smoke pot at an equal rate, but 86 percent of those arrested are black or Hispanic.

There will be a number of exceptions to the new policy.  People smoking marijuana will still be arrested if they’re on parole, are a violent offender or have a misdemeanor or felony warrant.  They could also still be arrested if they’re in the driver’s seat of a vehicle or if officers can’t verify their identity.

It’s believed the change will lead to a 60 percent drop in the number of marijuana arrests.

The announcement comes as the state could move to legalize pot.  Health Commissioner Howard Zucker is releasing a report that says the positives of legalizing the drug outweigh the negatives.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has voiced opposition to legalized marijuana in the past, but has softened his stance in recent months.

Source:  Daily News

Photo Credit:  Getty Images

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