NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A policy shift on marijuana use in New York City went into effect Saturday.

The NYPD will now mostly issue summonses to people caught smoking instead of arresting them.

The new directive is expected to reduce the number of arrests city-wide and save officers hours of paperwork.

Officers can still arrest offenders, especially those with active warrants, those on parole or probation and anyone considered violent.

At a hearing earlier this year, a number of city council members told representatives of the NYPD that minorities are being arrested disproportionately to whites when it comes to marijuana law enforcement.