NYPD To Stop Arrests For Minor Marijuana Possession; Issue Tickets Instead

photo credit: flickr.com/bmthomas

photo credit: flickr.com/bmthomas

Reportedly, New York City will change its policy on making arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Officers will now have the option of giving a ticket instead of taking the person into custody. The reason being, Mayor Bill De Blasio believes that many young people are arrested for minor possession of marijuana every day. As a result, it messes up their “squeaky clean” record and prevents them from getting a job or housing. Many job applications ask about arrests or convictions, but not summonses. An officer ultimately has to make the judgment on the scene.” Considering the bad judgement of some police officers I doubt only issuing a ticket will suffice as a just way of  saying “if you do the crime you do the time” in their eyes.

This law does not apply to those who are caught smoking marijuana. If police find somebody smoking marijuana the suspect would have to go through the entire arrest procedure. People without proper identification or people with outstanding warrants will be taken into custody.

Photo Credit: paevar from morguefile.com

Photo Credit: paevar from morguefile.com

Police Commissioner William Bratton stated that “the officer can choose to write a citation which requires the suspect to appear in court later. The marijuana would be seized and the person who had the marijuana would continue with their day. The fine for a first offense would usually be $100.”

This policy shhould not only spare the record of the young people, but also make more time for officers to attend to more important issues instead. De Blasio said “We don’t want to saddle someone who made one small mistake with something that will follow them all their lives. You will see fewer unnecessary arrests. The policy change will also free up New York City police to concentrate on more serious crimes. The officers won’t have to spend hours at the station house or in court because of small amounts of marijuana.”

The policy change goes into effect November 19 and will only affect cases involving 25 grams (.88 ounce) or less of marijuana. However, De Blassio and Bratton made it very clear that they do not support legalizing recreational marijuana.

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