U.S. NewsHuman Rights


NYC Wants To Cut Down Arrests For Smoking Pot In Public

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that most people caught smoking in public will get a ticket instead of being arrested.
Posted at 9:01 PM, Jun 19, 2018

The city of New York is trying to cut down on the number of people arrested for smoking marijuana in public.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's police commissioner announced Tuesday that most people who get caught smoking pot in public will get a ticket instead of being arrested. 

But smokers will still be arrested if they don't have their ID or if they have existing criminal warrants or a recent documented history of violence. People will also be arrested if their smoking poses a public safety risk, like if they're smoking while driving.

New York state does allow medical marijuana, but smoking in public is prohibited. New York City arrested 19,000 people for possession in 2017, and more than 16,000 of those arrests were for smoking in public.

The new marijuana arrest policy goes into effect Sept. 1, but the city might not be done revamping how it deals with pot use. In the coming months, a task force will look at what the city should do if the state legalizes marijuana.