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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has instructed the New York Police Department to stop arresting New Yorkers smoking weed in public, and at the same time formed a special task force responsible for the next steps in the inevitable legalization of recreational marijuana in New York, reports CNN.

Under the current policy, people are arrested, fingerprinted and have to appear in court, while possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a summons. Now, once the new policy is in effect, people who violate the law will simply be issued a summons.

“The dual mission of the Manhattan DA’s office is a safer New York and a more equal justice system,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. “The ongoing arrest and criminal prosecution of predominantly black and brown New Yorkers for smoking marijuana serves neither of these goals.”

The mayor hopes that the NYPD can come up with a plan to make changes to its marijuana enforcement policies by next month, and Vance said he would end prosecution of marijuana possession starting August 1. However, any changes to NYPD’s policy on smoking marijuana in public would not take effect until after summer.

For the full story, head on over to CNN. Now in case you missed it, watch High End, our documentary on luxury weed.

Also, peep ‘Breaking Habits,’ a documentary about weed-growing nuns below.

Words by Renz Ofiaza
Staff Writer

Renz Ofiaza is a Staff Writer at Highsnobiety and based in Brooklyn.

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