Marijuana Enforcement Policy Change
On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill announced a new policy change regarding marijuana enforcement throughout the city. In a press release, the Mayor's office stated that beginning on September 1, 2018, individuals caught smoking marijuana in public will receive a criminal summons instead of an immediate arrest. This excludes certain factors, including people with existing criminal warrants, or those who pose an immediate threat to public safety. Through a combined effort from the mayor's office and the NYPD, this new policy is a recommendation from the 30 Day Working Group on Marijuana Enforcement. A separate mayoral task force is already underway to determine if New York State should move forward with a proposal to legalize marijuana. The task force is expected to release their report in 2019.
Next Week's Committee Hearings
The New York City Council will hold several committee hearings next week. On Monday, the Committee on Technology, jointly with the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will hold an oversight hearing to discuss the "City's Cable Franchise Agreements." Also on Monday, the Committee on For Hire-Vehicles will hold a hearing to discuss several pieces of legislationrelated to commuter vans and reducing certain penalties for taxi and for hire vehicles. The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet to discuss legislation regarding sewer system backups and backflow prevention. On Tuesday, the Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet to discuss regulating short-term residential rentals and illegal conversions of dwelling units. On Wednesday, the Committee on Women with the Committee on Health will meet to discuss maternal mortality and access to doulas. On Wednesday, the Committee on General Welfare with the Committee on Education will meet to discuss the city's implementation of the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program and will consider expanding the program. The Committees will also examine the transition of Early Learn NYC to the Department of Education and the pay disparities between the two entities. The Committee on Transportation will hold an off-site oversight hearing on the city's latest mitigation plans for the upcoming L train shutdown and creating an ombudsman within the Department of Transportation for issues related closure. The full Council will meet for a stated meeting to introduce and approve certain legislation on Thursday.