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NYC to stop many small-time marijuana arrests

November 10, 2014 Associated Press
Bill de Blasio was in Puerto Rico last week but got right to work on Marijuana policy on Monday. AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo
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Thousands of people carrying small amounts of marijuana may no longer be arrested or face criminal charges in New York City under a new policy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton made the announcement on Monday. Instead of being arrested on a misdemeanor charge, many people will get summonses and face non-criminal violations.

The change marks a significant shift in how the nation’s biggest city treats possession of up to 25 grams — about a sandwich bag — of pot. De Blasio has faced pressure to keep campaign promises to reduce the more than 20,000 such arrests per year.

State law makes it a misdemeanor to have up to 25 grams of marijuana in “public view.” The mayor and commissioner characterized stopping such arrests as an enforcement choice.

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