For Mayor Bill de Blasio the legalization of cannabis is "likely to happen in our state in the near future".
Currently, smoking in public in New York can lead to arrest. On the other hand, possession of small amounts of cannabis can lead to a summation.
This weekend, the mayor asked the New York police to issue summonses. They are intended to replace arrests.
"With the legalization of cannabis likely to occur in our state in the near future, it is essential that our city plan for the consequences for public safety, health and finances," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
Mr de Blasio ordered the police to reform the handling of cannabis-related cases. He called for the creation of a 30-day working group on the issue. Indeed, the New York Times reported that black and Latin American people were disproportionately arrested for cannabis.
At the same time, France is still thinking about amount of fines at each arrest.
Any changes to NYPD policy would not take effect until late summer.
Great racial inequality in arrests in New York
There were 17 arrests last year for personal use of marijuana. Almost all for smoking in public rather than possession of cannabis. The number is considerably lower than that of Michael Bloomberg, the previous mayor. However, the racial disparity of those arrested is shocking. Thus 880% of those arrested were people of color. In Manhattan, the numbers are even more striking. Blacks were 86 times more likely to be arrested for possession than whites.
This announcement comes in a year when many local and federal lawmakers have come into conflict with the White House and federal drug policy. While cannabis is legal for recreational use in states like California and Alaska, and decriminalized in 13 others, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has attempted to end this policy of federal non-interference in states with laws. favorable to cannabis. Jeff Sessions received little support.