APNewsBreak: Pot arrests plunge in NYC after policy shift that treats many cases as violations

New York City's pledge to stop making many marijuana arrests is playing out on the streets. New statistics show arrests and summonses for small-time pot possession have plummeted since the policy change this fall.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in mid-November that police would turn toward violations and summonses instead of misdemeanor arrests for carrying modest amounts of pot.

State Division of Criminal Justice statistics obtained by The Associated Press show such arrests plunged by 75 percent in December compared to a year ago, and the November numbers fell by 42 percent.

New York Police Department figures show that even summonses have fallen by about 10 percent since the policy change.

Critics of the arrests see the decline as promising, but they say it's too early to draw lasting conclusions.