NYPD's New Pot Possession Policy Takes Effect Nov. 19

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on November 11, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The New York City Police Department has announced that it will no longer arrest those carrying 25 grams or less of marijuana.

Instead, NYPD officers will issue begin issuing summonses to those in possession of small amounts of marijuana, reports Gothamist. The summonses, similar to those issued for speeding tickets or relatively minor offenses, will not appear on a person's criminal record.

What else do you need to know about the NYPD's new marijuana possession enforcement policy? Here are five facts:

  1. Brooklyn's DA already instituted a similar policy. The NYPD's announcement comes after the Brooklyn District Attorney announced earlier this year that it would no longer prosecute those arrested with less than 25 grams of marijuana.
  2. First offense will result in $100 fine. A violation of New York's marijuana possession law will still result in a fine of up to $100 for a first offense. The violation will not, however, appear on an offender's criminal record.
  3. Those cited will not be fingerprinted or photographed. Along with avoiding having an arrest record, those cited for marijuana possession and issued a summons will not be photographed nor have their fingerprints taken.
  4. Those without ID may still be arrested. One caveat to the new policy is that a person violating the state's marijuana possession law who cannot show a valid ID will still be arrested. In addition, those who smoke marijuana in public may also still face arrest.
  5. Marijuana was decriminalized in New York in 1977. Possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana was actually decriminalized by the New York legislature in 1977, making possession a violation punishable by up to a $100 fine. However, NYPD officers often circumvented that law by frisking a suspect, then arresting that person for possessing marijuana in "public view," a misdemeanor, when the search revealed marijuana on the suspect's person.

The NYPD's new policy will go into effect on November 19.

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