NYC Eases Up on Low-Level Marijuana Offenses
Starting November 19, people caught possessing less than 25 grams and marijuana will get summoned and fined instead of arrested.
Thousands of people carrying small amounts of marijuana may no longer be arrested or face criminal charges in New York City under a new policy.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced it Monday. Instead of being arrested on a misdemeanor charge, many people will get summonses and face non-criminal violations.
The change marks a significant shift in how the nation's biggest city treats possession of up to 25 grams - about a sandwich bag - of pot. De Blasio has faced pressure to keep campaign promises to reduce the more than 20,000 such arrests per year.
State law makes it a misdemeanor to have up to 25 grams of marijuana in "public view." The mayor and commissioner characterized stopping such arrests as an enforcement choice.