New York City is an incredible city and a fantastic place to go for a getaway. If you’re heading there after September 1, you’ll be happy to know that if you get caught blazing in the big apple, you’ll only get a $100 souvenir.
The NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will relax its enforcement of marijuana laws, although police will still arrest people in some circumstances. Now, New Yorkers will no longer face incarceration for smoking, recreationally or medicinally, on the streets. After August, they could at most risk getting a $100 ticket.
Of course, if the person stopped has a warrant or is on probation, the police will arrest them. However, this move is big step forward which will have a considerable positive impact on the amount of cannabis crime arrests that target people of colour.
Cannabis arrests have been on the decline but deep racial disparities persist. Nearly 9 out of every 10 people arrested for possession are black or Hispanic. De Blasio says the goal of the enforcement changes is to end racial disparities in cannabis arrests. Nobody should be smoking pot in public, he says, but they are trying to deal with a bigger problem in the most productive and fairest way.
New York is the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana (2014), and its laws are considered strict. As of today, New York State is considering the pros and cons of going full legal in a budget set forth by Gov. Cuomo. So, you can imagine that many New Yorkers are yearning for more leniency as they witness other states in the nation completely legalize cannabis.