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.

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

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

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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.