Today, the New York City’s Police Department shifted it’s marijuana enforcement practices away from arresting people possessing 25 grams or less of marijuana. Under the new practices, people with small amounts of cannabis will be fined.
In the past, those caught with small quantities of pot were arrested on misdemeanor charges and faced up to three months in jail.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to revamp enforcement practices recently, citing his belief that the change in tactics would allow police to spend more time enforcing more serious breeches of the peace and would be fairer to citizens. In previous years, the NYCPD arrested more then 20,000 people annually possessing small amounts of weed. The overwhelming majority of those arrested were young people of color.
“The time and energy that will be saved because of this policy change will be used to address more serious crimes,” de Blasio said. “Our goal is to keep cops out on the frontline where they can do the most good to protect people, but we also don’t want to saddle people who made one small mistake.”
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