Residents in New York are not currently able to legally use marijuana for recreational purposes like people who live in nearby Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and the District of Columbia. Therefore, this debate continues as many want to see this changed. In the meantime, people who find themselves accused of simple pot possession may no longer be forced into handcuffs and taken into jail.

As reported by PIX11, the Mayor of New York City has enacted a new law that will find some people accused of marijuana possession required to attend a court hearing instead of being arrested. The law took effect at the beginning of September 2018 and applies to those persons found with less than 26 grams of marijuana. A summons will be given to them requiring them to be present when stated in court.

However, there are some notable exclusions to the scope of this new law. Even if a person has only five grams of pot on their person, they may still be placed under arrest if they do not show identification to law enforcement or are in some way deemed a threat to public safety. Also excluded from the summons in lieu of arrest law are those people who are currently serving probation or parole sentences or who happen to have a warrant out for their arrest for some other reason.

It should be noted that the simple inability to pay a fine might contribute to a person having an open warrant. Also, people with violent histories may be arrested instead of given a summons.