Manhattan District Attorney Vows To Stop Prosecuting Minor Marijuana Cases

  • Manhattan District Attorney Vows To Stop Prosecuting Minor Marijuana Cases

Manhattan District Attorney Vows To Stop Prosecuting Minor Marijuana Cases

Vance said that his office will stop prosecuting marijuana possession and smoking cases starting August 1 except for a few cases involving "demonstrated public safety concerns".

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said his office would work with the police and the mayor's office to pinpoint the "the very small number" of marijuana-possession cases that should be prosecuted because of public safety concerns.

Blacks and Hispanics are arrested for marijuana at much higher rates than those in predominantly white communities.

The Times also debunked the NYPD explanation for the disparities, which the police attribute to more 311 and 911 complaints in certain neighborhoods.

"The NYPD will overhaul and reform its policies related to marijuana enforcement in the next 30 days", he said but did not elaborate.

Gonzalez said Brooklyn started declining to prosecute some instances of smoking marijuana in public when a nuisance was not created as part of a pilot program created three months ago.

Is this a first step towards making marijuana legal in New York State?

Johnson, Sharpton and other Council members also called on cops to give summonses instead of arresting people caught smoking pot in public. The shift was one of a number announced by public officials Tuesday, signaling a substantial softening of marijuana enforcement across the city.

Tuesday's announcements suggest that NY ― a state now exploring the possibility of legalizing marijuana altogether, as other states have ― is starting to more forcefully tackle the disproportionate rates at which black people get arrested for marijuana, even though black and white people use marijuana at nearly the same rates, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

We have been taught that marijuana is a "gateway" drug and that early use can predict future problems.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised changes to the way police handle marijuana arrests.

As the city and district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn are moving toward easing the way they enforce marijuana laws, the Island's District Attorney Michael McMahon has declined to take a position on the issue.

De Blasio did not provide any details of what the policy changes might entail. In 2017, he issued one of the most lenient marijuana policies in New York State, under which individuals accused for the first time of smoking in public receive a 90-day Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal ("ACD"), and those accused for the second time receive a 180-day ACD.

The move comes after the release of two major reports about marijuana in New York State. "We must and we will end unnecessary arrests and end disparity in enforcement - it's time for those to be a thing of the past, in New York City and all over this country".

During a City Council hearing Tuesday, Police Commissioner James O'Neill acknowledged a racial disparity but denied that officers target people of color for arrests.

More and more Democrats in NY have thrown their support behind full legalization of marijuana, though de Blasio still opposes it.

"Now the grandchild of stop-and-frisk is marijuana arrests based on race", Sharpton said. Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo from the left in the Democratic primary, has made marijuana legalization a central plank of her campaign platform.