That’s right, stoners. The Sour Diesel isn’t tricking your eyes. Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced new adjustments to the marijuana enforcement policy amongst the NYPD.
With the new policies in place, if you’re caught with less than 25 grams of marijuana on your person in New York City, you’ll get slapped with a summons instead of getting cuffed, hauled away and jailed. The initiative, according to the NY Post, comes from de Blasio, who sees the marijuana issue as “something very dear” to him.
To demonstrate how much weed you’re allowed to carry with you, de Blasio held up a nearly-full bag of oregano. “It’s not a large amount,” he said, holding up the 25 gram-bag. The new policy, however, only applies to marijuana that appears to be for personal use. If you’re caught with 25 one-gram baggies in your pockets, for instance, that probably won’t end up well for you. The new policy also doesn’t cover smoking weed outside. If police catch you using the stuff outdoors, you’ll be arrested, regardless of the amount of visible marijuana.
While de Blasio and Bratton announced the initiative yesterday, law enforcement officials told the NY Post “an unwritten version of the policy was enacted ‘on the command level’ about a year and a half ago under then-Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.” Bratton said the policy officially goes into effect starting November 19. First-time offenders caught carrying weed in New York will have to pay $100, and second-timers will have to fork over up to $250.
“It will certainly be good for New Yorkers of color, and particularly young people of color,” said the mayor.
“When an individual is arrested, even for the smallest possession of marijuana, it hurts their chances to get a good job, it hurts their chances to get housing, it hurts their chances to qualify for a student loan — it can literally follow them the rest of their lives and saddle young people with challenges that for many are very, very difficult to overcome,” de Blasio continued. “I think you will see fewer unnecessary arrests.”