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Photo: Jennifer Zdon/The Times-Picayune
The New Orleans City Council on Thursday decided that people accused of marijuana possession and three other misdemeanors will receive a summons instead of being arrested and brought to the Orleans Parish Prison.

‚ÄčIf you get picked up for marijuana possession or prostitution in New Orleans, police no longer have to arrest you and take you to jail.

In a move designed to reduce the dockets in Criminal District Court and give police more time to deal with major crimes, the New Orleans City Council voted unanimously Thursday to designate marijuana possession and three other relatively minor crimes as municipal offenses, giving police the option to issue a summons rather than make an arrest, reports Bruce Eggler at The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Until now, the crimes have been illegal only under Louisiana state laws, meaning police had to arrest offenders and take them to Central Lockup for booking.