NEW YORK (AP) – The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office in New York, one of the largest in the U.S., says it will stop prosecuting most low-level marijuana possession cases, especially for first-time offenders.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Tuesday the new policy could affect thousands of people who every year are brought to court for having pot only to have their cases dismissed.
More than two-thirds of the district’s roughly 8,500 Class B misdemeanor marijuana possession cases last year ended up being dismissed at arraignment. Critics say the process is costly, burdensome and time consuming.
Thompson says that under the new policy, the cost savings will go toward high-level drug enforcement.
He says the new approach won’t apply to 16- and 17-year-olds or to people caught smoking in public or near children.