There were just eight cannabis-related arrests in New York City during the second quarter of 2021, according to a report from Filter. In the first quarter of the year—prior to the state’s legalization bill taking effect—there were 163 cannabis possession arrests in the Big Apple.
The eight arrests in the city were for a newly-created legal category created under the legalization law that includes “unlawful possession” violations—possessing more than the three-ounce legal limit—to “criminal sale” felonies.
Criminal court summonses in the city also fell from 3,700 in the first quarter to, again, just eight. Summonses are issued when someone is issued a ticket for cannabis possession but don’t pay them, which can result in arrest warrants if the offender doesn’t appear in court.
The sharp decline may also be due to provisions in the state’s adult-use law that specifically allows cannabis consumption wherever cigarette smoking is allowed; most state legalization laws still prohibit public consumption of cannabis.
Following the approval of the legalization law, district attorneys throughout New York City dismissed cannabis cases and expunged records as allowed under the bill.
The rollout of New York’s cannabis industry has been delayed following the approval of the reforms earlier this year, partly due to the numerous scandals of former Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo which led to his resignation last month. Late last month, New York lawmakers finally began approving cannabis industry regulators who were nominated by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) who took over following Cuomo’s departure.
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