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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill said in a joint announcement that beginning in September, New Yorkers found smoking pot in public will face criminal summonses instead of arrest.

“The new policy builds on previous efforts by Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD to strike a balance on marijuana enforcement between fairness and safety,” they said in a written announcement.

According to NYPD projections, the new policy will likely reduce overall marijuana arrests in New York City by about 10,000 per year based on 2017 arrest records and patterns.

New Yorkers will still be subject to arrest if they are on probation or parole, if they have existing criminal warrants, don't have identification, have a recent documented history of violence, or their smoking poses an immediate public safety risk — such as while driving a car.

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