Michael Bloomberg Announced A Big Change To How New York City Handles Marijuana

Michael Bloomberg

Photo: AP

In his State of the City address today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg came out with a full-throated endorsement of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to make a small marijuana infraction a violation rather than a misdemeanour, which would reduce the legal consequences for a common crime.Bloomberg also announced another significant marijuana-related change that will be implemented immediately in New York City.

Instead of being held overnight in jail, those arrested for possessing small quantities of marijuana will instead receive only a desk appearance ticket for their court date.

Here’s the relevant quote from his State of the City address:

“But we know that there’s more we can do to keep New Yorkers, particularly young men, from ending up with a criminal record. Commissioner Kelly and I support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a violation, rather than a misdemeanour and we’ll work to help him pass it this year. But we won’t wait for that to happen.

“Right now, those arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana are often held in custody overnight. We’re changing that. Effective next month, anyone presenting an ID and clearing a warrant check will be released directly from the precinct with a desk appearance ticket to return to court. It’s consistent with the law, it’s the right thing to do  and it will allow us to target police resources where they’re needed most.

Read the full State of the City address here >

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