The two bills, NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio have announced a dramatic change to the NYPD’s policy on marijuana possession arrests. Beginning today, November 19, 2014 if police find someone in possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana, the individual will receive a fine, instead of being arrested.
The summons will require a court appearance, along with a $100 fine for a first offense. A second offense carries a fine of $250.
People caught with more than 25 grams, or who are caught smoking marijuana on the street, will still be arrested and fingerprinted.
Also, those with outstanding warrants or who have no identification to show police will still be arrested. The new policy goes into effect today. The new policy is seen as an effort by de Blasio to reduce what detractors charge as overbearing police practices in minority neighborhoods and to lessen the impact of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk practices.
Despite the more lenient policy, Bratton cautioned that those who carry marijuana in New York City are still breaking the law.
“Don’t smoke it, don’t carry it, don’t use it,” said Bratton. “It’s still against the law. So I’m not giving get-out-of-jail-free cards.”