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Low-Level Marijuana Arrests Down After NYPD Puts New Policy In Place

NEW YORK (AP) - Arrests for low-level marijuana possession have fallen 13 percent in New York City, after Police Commissioner Ray Kelly cautioned officers not to bust people for small amounts of the drug found in pockets.

Kelly issued the internal order in September, after claims that officers were wrongly arresting people. In New York, possessing a small amount of marijuana is punishable with a ticket. But having the drug out in public is a misdemeanor.

Department figures show 1,190 fewer arrests were made in the nine weeks since the order, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Before Kelly's order, arrests had been up.

The Associated Press reported last month that there are about 50,000 arrests for the lowest-level pot bust per year - more than other charge in the city.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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