(CNN) — One joint at a time.
Speaking to law students on Friday, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said he recently surprised a young woman who was smoking marijuana on Wall Street in downtown Manhattan.
“Directly in front of me is this young woman happily puffing away,” Bratton said at an event at New York Law School. “She’s got her earphones in and her schoolbag on her way to one of the local schools.”
The commissioner said he and his security officer approached her from either side and tapped her on the shoulder.
“And she looked over and I wish I had a photograph of that face — ’cause she instantly recognized me,” a smiling Bratton said, drawing a laugh from the audience.
“So we politely removed the marijuana, 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,” he said.
The incident happened Thursday, NY1 reported. He did not say how young the woman was.
NY1 reported that Bratton made the remarks in response to a question from an audience member who said she was from a marijuana legalization group.
Last year, Bratton and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new policy in which possession of small amounts of marijuana would result only in a ticket.
New York state legalized medical marijuana in 2014. However, both de Blasio and Bratton have said that they do not support legalizing recreational marijuana.