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.

  1. The most dangerous aspect of cannabis consumption is running into lazy cops looking for soft targets instead of fighting real crime. Data from the Center for Disease Control makes it absolutely clear that cannabis is far safer to consume than booze or tobacco. It is about time for our government to get over “Reefer Madness” and remove cannabis from the DEA drug schedule.

    Cannabis is now COMPLETELY LEGAL in 9 states in the US including Vermont, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Alaska plus Washington DC! 30 US states have legalized cannabis for “medical use”. Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, and Jamaica are now completely legal, Canada will go fully legal this year and Mexico is moving toward full legalization.

    Cannabis prohibition criminalizes people for selecting a product that is much safer. Cannabis prohibition is a ridiculous waste of police, court resources and taxpayer funds!! The madness is over! Legalize!!!

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