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Bloomberg’s new pot arrest policy isn’t that great

In New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's State of the City address Thursday, he announced a new policy for marijuana arrests, which will go into effect in the city next month: Individuals arrested for marijuana possession will get desk appearance tickets instead of 24 hours in the central booking jail.

Crucially, this is not an end to marijuana arrests, or the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk policies that usually precede them. Nor does Bloomberg's announcement bring New Yorkers closer to legalization.

Harry Levine, professor of sociology at CUNY and longtime researcher into marijuana arrests and policy, noted that based on news reports from Bloomberg's speech, "some readers may conclude that now police will just be giving out tickets. That is not accurate." In an email, Levine detailed exactly what the new policy means for marijuana arrests:

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