Following up the announcement that the NYPD will be issuing tickets instead of arrests for marijuana possession, Mayor de Blasio and police commissioner William Bratton detailed more specifics on the policy. New Yorkers cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession will now face summons with a $100 fine for a first offense and up to $250 for second-time offenders. While those given summons will not be fingerprinted or photographed, they will need to show police valid ID.
Sources close to the matter tell the New York Post the change in policy was put into motion by de Blasio, and was something the mayor “needed to happen.”
Mayor de Blasio said,
“I think the fact that you will see fewer unnecessary arrests will be good for New York City as a whole; it will certainly be good for New Yorkers of color, particularly young people of color, there’s no question about that. Someone being told, ‘You broke the law, there’s a consequence, do what it says on this piece of paper, show up when you’re supposed to, pay your debt,’ is gonna feel a lot better about the reality than someone having to be taken into the precinct.”
In addition, Commissioner Bratton brought along a bag filled with
Reggie oregano to illustrate how much 25 grams of marijuana looks like, saying, ”The number of joints, if you will, that can be made from that amount varies significantly from the amount they put in each joint. All I can think of right now is pizza because I usually like oregano on my pizza.”
Bratton also detailed that the policy will be put into writing, and that officers will be shown a training video about the change before it goes into effect on November 19.