Low-level marijuana possession could soon land you a ticket instead of arrest in New York City

Mayor Bill de Blasio is said to be welcoming the potential policy change

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The Independent US

People caught with marijuana in New York City may no longer face arrest – as the police consider implementing a ticketing system.

Under the scheme people found with small amounts of cannabis would be issued with a court summons but would not be handcuffed or taken to a police station for fingerprinting, according to The New York Times

Low-level marijuana possession is one of the most common drug offences seen by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and law officials have been seeking a new way of addressing the problem.

Many low-level marijuana arrests take place in black and Latino communities, thereby impacting negatively on relations with police.

Mayor Bill de Blasio - who won a hotly contested Democratic primary in September last year by focusing on the controversial “stop-and-frisk” police tactic endorsed by Michael Bloomberg and by criticizing the billionaire mayor for presiding over “two New Yorks” (one rich, one poor) -  is said to be welcoming the potential change.

A spokesman for the mayor declined to comment to The New York Times, but two officials in the district attorney’s office are said to have confirmed that City Hall in working on a new policy.

In June New York legalised medical marijuana, which is now permitted in 23 states and in Washington, DC.