FINANCIAL DISTRICT — This crime was sniffed out from the top.
“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?”
Bratton said he and one of his officers tried to figure out where it was coming from and finally encountered the culprit at a red light.
“Directly in front of us is this young woman, happily puffing away with earphones in and her school bag,” he said. “So my security officer came up on one side, I came up on the other and tapped her on the shoulder and she looked over.
“And I wish I had a photograph of that face. She instantly recognized me. We 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 marijuana.
“What is it that Cindy Adams says? Only in New York.”
Under current laws, smoking weed in public view can still be classified as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
In years past, the NYPD has had a zero-tolerance policy for pot smokers, but Bratton said he wants officers to use discretion when observing someone lighting up.
"We no longer seek to arrest for possession of the drug," Bratton said. "If you're smoking it in public, we will potentially arrest you, although we're encouraging officers to use the scale that they are authorized to use of warning, admonition, summons, arrest if necessary."
The Wall Street bust anecdote came after Bratton was asked about marijuana policy by a member of a marijuana advocacy group called "Occupy Weed Street."