De Blasio tells NY police to stop arrests for smoking weed in public: report

De Blasio tells NY police to stop arrests for smoking weed in public: report

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has reportedly told local law enforcement officers to stop arresting people who are smoking marijuana in public.

A City Hall aide told CNN that de Blasio instructed police to issue summonses for smoking weed — the same punishment for possessing a small amount of marijuana — instead of making arrests.

The report comes days after de Blasio announced an “overhaul” of New York Police Department (NYPD) policies in an effort to “end disparity” in marijuana enforcement.

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Data from the Manhattan district attorney’s office show that a disproportionate number of people arrested for smoking and possessing small amounts of marijuana in public are minorities.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Phil Walzak told CNN that ending public marijuana smoking arrests is “certainly” one of the issues that a 30-day working group is addressing.

"The working group is reviewing possession and public smoking of marijuana to ensure enforcement is consistent with the values of fairness and trust, while also promoting public safety and addressing community concerns," he said.

Brooklyn and Manhattan district attorneys announced earlier this month that they are working to end prosecution of marijuana charges.