Beginning this weekend in NYC, people caught smoking marijuana will be issued a summons instead of arrested. The change in policy is an attempt to lighten the paper workload on patrolling officers with the hope of keeping them on the street to focus on more serious crimes.
The policy change was backed by the de Blasio administration after a report showed that even though more white people smoke pot than any other group black and Hispanic pot smokers made up 85% of the arrests in NYC.
In the past decade, 18,000 people have been arrested on low-level marijuana charges. The NYPD hopes that number will drop by 10,000 arrests with the introduction of the new policy.
The police have revamped the Patrol Guide so officers are up to speed on the new rules and will begin handing out palm cards to local community leaders to explain the new policy.
An article published in the New York Daily News said officers will still arrest people suspected to be under the influence of marijuana while driving, if they have active warrants, are on probation or cannot produce identification that verifies who they are.
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