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Bratton sniffs out pot smoker on Wall Street, tosses joint

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton is shown in

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton is shown in this undated photo. Credit: Charles Eckert

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton isn't just preaching a gentler approach to marijuana enforcement -- he's put it into practice.

Bratton Friday recalled catching a whiff of burning weed during a recent morning walk in the financial district.

"I said, 'What the hell? This is 8:30 on Wall Street!' " Bratton told a forum at New York Law School.

Bratton said he and his security detail followed the telltale aroma to a red light, where they came upon a young woman with a backpack, possibly a college student, happily puffing on a joint.

"I come up to one side, tap her on the shoulder and she looked over -- and I wish I had a photograph of that face, because she instantly recognized me," he said, drawing laughter.

"We politely removed the marijuana and threw it into the local sewer and just suggested she might have a better academic day without the influence of that on the way to school," Bratton added.

In November 2014, NYPD officers stopped arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Public smoking is still illegal, but in most cases cops issue warnings, admonitions and summonses instead of making arrests, a police spokesman said.

Bratton favors medicinal use of marijuana, but opposes legalization.

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