NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Starting September 1, the New York Police Department will issue criminal summonses to most people caught smoking marijuana in public instead of arresting them.
Anyone with prior arrests for violent crimes, parolees, drivers and some others would be arrested under the policy.
People with summonses will have to go to court and pay a $100 fine.
A month earlier, the Manhattan District Attorney stopped prosecuting most low-level marijuana cases.
The state's top health official said that a report on marijuana will recommend legalization.
Data shows that most arrests for marijuana crimes occur in predominantly minority neighborhoods despite studies that show people of all races use the drug with equal frequency.
According to the NY Daily News, the circumstances under which someone can still be arrested are as follows:
- Has a misdemeanor or felony warrant
- Is on parole or probation
- Is categorized as a violent offender
- If police can’t verify their identity or their address
- If the person is in the driver’s seat of a car
- If the officer can offer a “legitimate law enforcement exception"
With the Associated Press