Two recent news reports indicate that New Yorkers are more comfortable outdoors, at least when it comes to smoking marijuana and having sex in public.
As Mayor de Blasio decriminalized low-level marijuana possession last November, many New Yorkers evidently mistook that for de-facto legalization, according to one article in the New York Post.
“If you’re smoking it in public, we will potentially arrest you,” Commissioner Bill Bratton, who doesn’t support legalizing pot for recreational use, was quoted in the Post. Cops can use discretion when confronting a dope smoker — issue a warning or a summons or make an arrest, the article stated.
“That’s why we smoke in public — because it’s decriminalized,” said a 21-year-old waiter from Astoria, Queens, in the Post report. “Before, we would try to smoke indoors.”
His companion, a 19-year-old restaurant hostess also from Astoria, told the Post they deliberately pick busy spots because “the more open you are about it, the less obvious you are. … It’s very easygoing.”
Cops also appear to be looking the other way concerning sexual activity in public parks, according to a separate report also published by the New YorkPost, which claimed that police issued only 45 summonses to couples having sex in the city’s green spaces so far this year — a 56 percent drop from the same period last year when cops ticketed 103 daring deviants, NYPD records show, and citations in Central Park dwindled to just four in the first six months of the year, after 30 last year.
Asked to explain the plummet in citations, an NYPD spokesman said in the article that “some conditions can be corrected without issuing a summons.”
Some people do get the attention of authorities. One parks enforcement officer told The Post she holds her handcuffs and keys tightly so they don’t make noise as she stealthily approaches couples in city parks.
She caught one couple having oral sex in Central Park, which she described in the Post: “The guy was very honest and said, ‘We made a stupid mistake,’ and ‘We didn’t think we were going to get caught,’” she was quoted. She claimed to have given them a ticket.