A new policy decriminalizing the public display of up to 25 grams of cannabis is now in effect in New York City, as of Wednesday, November 19th. The new policy was put forth by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Under New York State law, the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis is a ticketable, not an arrestable offense. However, for years police in New York City have continued to make thousands of misdemeanor cannabis charges annually, based on cannabis being in public display (which in most all instances was due to police forcing people on the streets to empty their pockets). The new law changes this by making it a simple ticket for having up to 25 grams of cannabis in public display (although smoking in public will remain illegal).
The new law is expected to stop tens of thousands of arrests annually.