We never thought we’d see the day when NYC students would simply get a warning for being caught with weed at school—but apparently, that day has arrived.
Last June, Mayor De Blasio announced police would issue tickets in certain instances in which New Yorkers were caught smoking weed. Less than a year later, the NYPost says students are getting free passes too.
“The Department of Education’s softened policy on pot infractions among students led to a 192 percent plunge in weed-related NYPD summonses in the final three months of 2018 — the first time the largely relaxed rules were fully implemented systemwide,” the site reports, adding that “there were just 38 such summonses given out in that period compared with 111 issued in the same time frame in 2017.”
Not everyone is happy with the change in policy, however. Greg Floyd, president of the union that represents NYPD school safety agents, reportedly commented “The message has been made clear: Hands off the kids. It’s only going to get worse from here.” The NYPost goes on to say “Floyd argued that the new policy signals a de facto acceptance of marijuana in city schools. He noted recent Post reports on Forest Hills HS, where staffers blame a lax principal for students’ rampant cannabis consumption both on and near campus.”
Well, first things first: How does the new policy work and what are the potential pros and cons?
“Under the new policy, parents of students caught with pot are notified that their kids are getting a card and what the infraction was. Nothing remains on the teens’ record, and there is no set punishment if they rack up warnings,” the NYPost sates. “Instead, it is up to schools to deal with stoned students, and punishments can run from a stern talking-to to suspension. And kids under 16 caught with weed don’t even get cards; they are dealt with at their school’s discretion. As of Feb. 10, 183 marijuana warning cards have been issued this academic year, the DOE says.”
Weed Inc. author Ben Cort feels torn about the change in policy, explaining “It’s really good that we’re finding ways to not saddle young people with criminal records. But it’s a bad idea that we’re communicating to kids that marijuana use does not have consequences for them.” “The earlier one begins [smoking pot], the more they consume, and the more potent the weed is, the more likely they will be dependent,” he adds.
Where do you land on the issue of legalizing weed? Do you think this is a step in the right direction? Chime in.