NYPD memo tells officers not to stop New Yorkers smoking marijuana in public
A recent memorandum from the New York Police Department (NYPD) advises officers not to stop residents who are smoking marijuana in public.
The memo shared with The Hill on Friday outlines how officers are to approach the drug after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed recreational weed into law for adults aged 21 and over on Wednesday.
Under the law, residents can have up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate on them outside of their homes.
The memo was first reported by CNN on Thursday.
It says that smoking marijuana in places such as sidewalks, on front stops and other public places “is not a basis for an approach, stop, summons, arrest or, search.”
The policy also specifies that the smell of pot alone, whether or not it is burnt, “no longer establishes probable cause of a crime to search a vehicle.”
However, the memo makes clear that smoking or vaping weed inside of a car and driving under the influence are still prohibited.
Officers can search a vehicle if the driver appears to be under the influence and there is probable cause to believe that the car contains evidence of marijuana. However, the trunk of a car cannot be searched unless there is separate probable cause to believe the trunk contains evidence of a crime or an officer requests voluntary consent.
The policy also establishes that officers cannot stop or detain a parolee if they are using lawful amounts of marijuana unless the terms of their parole prohibit weed.