Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the New York Police Department (NYPD) to stop arresting New Yorkers who are caught smoking marijuana in public.
On Sunday, the mayor informed the police to instead issue summonses for public marijuana smoking.
“With marijuana legalization likely to occur in our state in the near future, it is critical our city plans for the public safety, health, and financial consequences involved,” said de Blasio in a statement.
“While I still have real concerns we must work through, it isn’t difficult to see where this is headed and any responsible policymaker must prepare for that eventuality. My focus now will be helping to craft the critical regulatory framework that must come before legalization is realized.”
Currently, NYPD officers can arrest New Yorkers for smoking pot in public, while possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a summons.