But Don’t Worry, You Just Have To Pay A Ticket.
That’s right. If you get caught with “low levels” of marijuana in New York City, the biggest penalty you face could be a simple ticket. It looks like so many people were getting sent to jail for a having less than an ounce of weed that NYC made a decision to change its policy on possession of “small amounts” of marijuana. The NYPD will also have discretionary control over how to handle the situation, which includes electing to write a ticket instead of booking “the perp”.
So Why The Change?
Well, apparently unrelated to the latest wave in newly legalized marijuana states in addition to New York even passing a medical marijuana policy into law NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks that the old law “disproportionately affected minority youth” and that writing a ticket as apposed to sending someone to jail would not effect the future of today’s youth.
So how small is small? Well according to the new policy change, which goes into effect November 19, this will only affect cases involving 25 grams (.88 ounce) or less of marijuana. If stopped, a summons ticket would be written, 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.
So sleep soundly my dime bag carrying stoners, you’re most likely getting a summons if anything at all in the unlikely case you get stopped by the NYPD for weed possession.
What About If I’m Smoking and Get Caught?
The process is a bit different in the case of actually using the drug. Though New York approved a medical marijuana law, the state still does not allow recreational use and even if it did, you’re still looking at a structure similar to what D.C. and other states have enacted which only extends the use to private/in home use. This would not include smoking in a car either (that’s still seen as a public place). In the case of using in the open, police will go through standard procedures of arresting.
How Does This Leave Things?
No matter the case, New York as well as several other states are easing the repercussions for possessing minuscule amount of marijuana not only to focus the police on more pressing issues but also to curb the future effects that an arrest would have on today’s youth. I don’t condone waving a bag of marijuana around but this just goes to show that America is starting to come around to the idea that personal marijuana possession isn’t such a heinous crime.
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A major victory for the people of NYC….as long as the cops in the city take their jobs seriously and don’t enforce with their egos.
Finally, a civic leader that gets it. Let the police focus on the real crime out there and the drugs that really harm people.
Absolutely! So much money is put into sending these people to jail for something so minimal! Congrats to NY residents!
Apparently now the officers are going rogue and deciding not to enact the new law. Someone needs to put them in their place and tell them to do their jobs.