No, the relationship between Mayor Bill de Blasio and his police commissioner is not going to pot.
Mr. de Blasio insisted he and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton are “on the same page” when it comes to their views on marijuana, even after Mr. Bratton blamed the drug on a spike in shootings and homicides. The two men, as Mr. de Blasio noted today, worked in concert last year on a policy to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
When asked at an unrelated press conference in Brooklyn if he saw any relationship between the change in marijuana policy and rise in homicides compared to this time last year, the mayor simply said “no.”
“Commissioner Bratton and I worked very closely together to develop the new policy which deemphasized arrest for minor possession of marijuana,” Mr. de Blasio told reporters. “We think that’s a very good policy. We did that together and believe in it with equal energy.”
Mr. Bratton claimed last week that in “this city people are killing each other over marijuana.” The mayor said he agreed with this point, even if he saw no link between the marijuana policy change and the violence.
“I agree with the commissioner, there’s a lot of violent crime related to marijuana that we’re addressing every single day,” Mr. de Blasio added. “I think we’re very much on the same page.”
On marijuana, as the New York Times reported today, Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Bratton have held seemingly divergent views. Mr. Bratton, naturally more conservative, railed against the drug in his memoir, while Mr. de Blasio admitted to smoking marijuana as an undergraduate at New York University. A close ally of Mr. de Blasio’s, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, has called for the full legalization of marijuana.
Mr. de Blasio has not.
Jillian Jorgensen contributed reporting.