The NYPD might claim it will no longer arrest people for low-level marijuana possession, but as SNL so vividly pointed out, you cannot actually smoke your marijuana in public. And especially not in front of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
At a New York Law School breakfast this morning, Bratton spun the tale of the aforementioned pot-smoker, who he sniffed out one morning while on Wall Street. "I had just had a meeting down there, 8:30 in the morning, walking along, the street's packed with people," Bratton said at a breakfast at New York Law School. "All of a sudden, there it is, that smell. What the hell — 8:30 on Wall Street?"
Indeed, Bratton's nose nailed down "a young woman, happily puffing away with earphones in and her school bag," and though he didn't arrest the person who dared sully Wall Street with such a vice, he definitely ruined her chill. "[M]y security officer comes up on one side, I come up on the other, tapped her on the shoulder. And she looked over and I wish I had a photograph of that face. Because she instantly recognized me...What is it that Cindy Adams says? Only in New York."
HAR DEE HAR, ONLY IN NEW YORK! BET YOU SCARED THAT LITTLE GIRL STRAIGHT, BILL!
— Azi (@Azi) October 9, 2015
Bratton—who suspected the woman was a student on her way to class—and his security officer "politely removed the marijuana and threw it into the local sewer and just suggested that she might have a better academic day without the influence of that on the way to school."
Anyway, everyone had a good chuckle, except for the poor soul whose stash now lives in the sewer. Note that low-level marijuana arrests are still hovering around 30,000 a year, with black or Hispanic New Yorkers making up about 87 percent of arrests for possession alone. Nationwide, lives have been destroyed thanks to low-level marijuana possession busts, and black Americans are disproportionately arrested for smoking weed on the street—even a fine or dismissal of charges leaves a mark on a person's arrest record, which can complicate things like getting a job or applying for government benefits.
Don't smoke grass, kids, because Big Brother Bill Is Watching You.