While not yet legal in New York, marijuana takes a step in that direction as Mayor Bloomberg stated on February 14, 2013 that people will no longer be held in jail for low-level marijuana arrests. Instead, they will be issued an appearance ticket detailing their notice to appear in court.
“It’s the right thing to do, and will allow us to target police resources where they’re needed most.” Bloomberg stated, citing massive wastes of money and man-hours as primary reasons. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also continues to support other laws that will loosen the grip on marijuana legislation.
With recent trends of legalizing marijuana spearheaded by Colorado and Washington, other states are taking small steps in that direction as well.
The reasons are simple. Arrests for small amounts of marijuana have been the most common cause of arrest in NYC for much of the past decade. This has cost the city millions in using their overcrowded jails and undermanned police force to focus on non-violent marijuana users. Judging from Bloomberg’s comments and pressure from the Drug Policy Alliance, other laws pointing towards decriminalization can be expected in the near future.