People found with small amounts of marijuana would be issued court summonses and be allowed to continue on their way without being handcuffed and taken to station houses for fingerprinting.
The change would remake the way the police in New York City handle the most common drug offenses and would represent Mayor Bill de Blasio’s most significant effort since taking office to address the enduring effects of the department’s excessive stop-and-frisk practices.
Even though marijuana possession has technically been decriminalized in New York State for decades, New York City has used a loophole in the law to be one of the leading jurisdictions for marijuana arrests. If New York City goes through with this change, it will have a positive impact on the lives of tens of thousands of people.
Many questions still need to be answered about the policy change and in the past Mayor de Blasio has failed to live up to his promises on this issue, so I’m personally going to withhold judgement until I start seeing concrete results but this could be promising.
Picture from Kathleen Maher licensed under Creative Commons