New York City police will stop arresting people for posessing small amounts of pot. The policy change reflects mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign promise to repair difficult relations between the nation's largest police force and people in the city who are not white.
Starting next week, NYPD officers will have the option to issue court summonses rather than arrest those caught with less than 25 grams of pot, the mayor and the NYPD police commissioner William Bratton announced during a joint press conference on Monday afternoon.
"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," DeBlasio said. "It can literally follow them for the rest of their lives and saddle young people with challenges that for many are very, very difficult to overcome."