New York is getting closer to legal marijuana.
On Monday, the state health commissioner said he would recommend legalizing the drug, and on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would hand out tickets to people smoking pot instead of arresting them.
But before New Yorkers break out their gummies and vape pens, here’s an explainer on what’s changing and when.
How illegal is marijuana in New York City, really?
So what’s changing?
Beginning on Sept. 1, the New York Police Department will begin issuing tickets for people who smoke weed in public instead of arresting them. They can still be arrested, however, if they have an open arrest warrant, are on parole or probation, don’t have identification, have been convicted of a violent crime, or are considered a threat to the public — like those caught smoking behind the wheel of a car.