The NYPD said in a memo that its law enforcement officials are no longer allowed to arrest folks for consuming marijuana in public- as long as smoking or intake is done in a legal tobacco smoking zone.
The memo additionally highlights that police officers are no longer allowed to use the scent of burnt or fresh marijuana as a reason for searching an automobile.
Last week, the two reforms were incorporated in marijuana legalization legislation by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The memo asserts that automobile searches associated with cannabis can be performed only if the official identifies the driver as impaired or if marijuana is being smoked actively in the car by its participants.
New York’s police agency’s memo also states that person to person exchange of legal amounts (3 ounces or less) without money exchange to a 21 or older individual is not classified as a sale according to law. This scenario is not a crime unless the police officer sees money compensation.
The NYPD additionally notes that parolees are allowed to use marijuana unless their parole conditions particularly prohibit it.
Inside the memo, the NYPD explains the regulations as forming sweeping amendments to the agency’s enforcement of cannabis felonies. According to an Innocence Project 2018 report, ninety-three percent of black people were arrested for marijuana possession between January and March of that year.
Out of 4081 arrests for cannabis criminal possession by the agency, a mere 287 were white, 2006 were black and 1621 were Latino individuals. The New York Police Department originally used the divisive stop-and-search practices that enabled their officers to stop people and check the contents of their pockets. If the individual removes an illegal drug substance, such as marijuana, it will be regarded ‘in public view’ and a chargeable offense. The department struck off a plain-cloth unit in 2020 as the ‘end chapter’ of the stop-and-search provision.