New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday he would support New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to decrease arrests for marijuana possession during routine police stops, The New York Times reports. The announcement comes days after Bloomberg’s announced proposal to limit the size of sodas in the city.
Cuomo wants lawmakers to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view. Current state law results in the arrest of thousands of people for having small amounts of marijuana in public view because they had been ordered to empty their pockets during police stops.
The governor’s proposal seeks to make possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana in public view a violation instead of a misdemeanor. The maximum fine would be $100 for first-time offenders, and there would be no possibility of jail time.
New York City police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly issued a memorandum to officers last September ordering them not to arrest people who only have marijuana displayed in public as a result of being ordered by police officers to empty their pockets. The governor’s proposal is “consistent with the commissioner’s directive,” Bloomberg said.
However, there is evidence that Kelly’s memorandum had little effect on low-level marijuana arrests.