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New York mayor wants police to stop arresting pot smokers

New York mayor wants police to stop arresting pot smokers
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, shown in New Jersey on May 1, says the city must plan for the eventual reality of marijuana legalization. (Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

Mayor Bill de Blasio says he wants the New York Police Department to stop arresting people for smoking pot in public and instead hand out summonses.

In a statement released Sunday, the Democratic mayor says the city must plan for the eventual reality of marijuana legalization and the "public safety, health and financial consequences involved."

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De Blasio says he still has his concerns, but that he must now focus on crafting the regulatory framework before legalization.

The mayor's remarks came less than a week after he directed the police department to overhaul its marijuana enforcement policies in the next 30 days.

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