NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Steals A Woman’s Joint From Her Mouth: Is New York City Tolerant To Weed Smokers

It seems Bill Bratton, the commissioner of New York Police Department, finally decided that it was time to take the law in his own hands, literally.

While walking down Wall Street on Thursday morning, Bratton, who presides a force comprising of nearly 40,000 officers, noticed the unmistakable smell of burning marijuana.

“All of a sudden, there it is, that smell,” New York Post reported him saying. “Directly in front us is this young woman, happily puffing away on her way to one of the local schools.”

A woman smokes a marijuana cigarette in public. Smoking marijuana in public is technically a misdemeanor in New York City and can be punishable even by arrest, but only in extreme cases. [Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]Bratton, who was recounting the event at a breakfast event at New York Law School, said the woman was shocked to see him when he tapped on her shoulder from behind.

“So my security officer came up on one side, I came up on the other and tapped her on the shoulder and she looked over. I wish I had a photograph of that face. She instantly recognized me.”

New York City commissioner then grabbed the joint out of the flabbergasted woman’s mouth, and tossed it into a nearby sewer. According to his own recounting of the event, Bratton then went on to give her a stern talking to, telling her to quit smoking weed if she was to perform better at school.

However, just how Bill Bratton determined that the woman wasn’t scoring well at school is something the commissioner expertly evaded.

In any case, weed smokers could still be pleased that the New York Police Department seems to imbibe nowhere the same amount of zero tolerance as it did up until very recently. As Vice reported, marijuana smokers in New York City were relegated to the indoors for decades following Bratton’s first reign of quality of life enforcement — or “broken windows theory” — under Mayor Giuliani in the 1990s. Until only a year ago, pot enthusiasts around the city engaging in public smoking could expect an encounter with a uniformed or undercover cop to result in arrest, a night in booking, and maybe even some old-school name-calling.

Mayor De Blasio has helped in relaxing drug possession laws in New York City. New York City Mayor De Blasio, along with Bill Bratton, is responsible for relaxing the laws that govern marijuana smoking in the city. [Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]According to BuzzFeed, under new rules pushed forward by Bratton and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, possessing less than 25 grams of marijuana is not a crime in New York, but is punishable by a fine. Smoking marijuana in public, however, is technically a misdemeanor, for which the young woman could have been arrested. It seems Bill Bratton’s recounting of the event was more a warning to the assembled students than anything else.

“We no longer seek to arrest for possession of the drug. If you’re smoking it in public we will potentially arrest you. But we encourage officers to use the scale they are authorized to use — warning, admonitions, summons, arrest if necessary.”

Having said that, Bill Bratton has never been a fan of marijuana. According to Daily Mail, he has publicly denounced the growing “weed culture” in New York City, blaming the city’s weed dealers for a 20 percent increase in murders.

“The seemingly innocent drug that’s being legalized around the country – in this city, people are killing each other over marijuana.”

Only yesterday, Inquisitr reported about California passing new laws that will regulate the distribution of medical marijuana, and the drug could become legal for recreational purposes as soon as next year in the western state. However, even medical marijuana stays illegal in New York, and Bill Bratton is likely to do everything to make sure it stays that way.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]