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Tickets For Marijuana In New York City

The NYPD traded handcuffs for tickets this week when it comes to marijuana possession.

By Freedom Leaf Staff

leafrunnerIn a major shift the New York City Police Department began issuing tickets for marijuana possession yesterday. There were more than 38,000 arrests (with handcuffs and holding cells) for the same violation in 2013.

The State of New York actually decriminalized cannabis possession by adults in 1977.  But in the 1980’s the NYPD started to ramp up arrests under the “public view” provision of state law.

There has always been a stark racial disparity to the arrests, more than 90% being African Americans.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the change earlier this month holding up a 25 gram bag of oregano to demonstrate the amount that New Yorkers could carry.

A Quinnipiac University poll this week found that 71% of NYC residents approve of the change.

New York follows Washington DC and Philadelphia who also stopped arresting cannabis consumers this year. Massachusetts voters decriminalized possession in 2009. Now, for the first time in decades, cannabis consumers in the very connected cities of Boston, New York, Philly and DC no longer need to live in fear of being thrown in jail and given a permanent criminal record.

Saturday Night Live covered this shift with this video segment:

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