Marijuana

The Manhattan DA's Office Will No Longer Prosecute You For Smoking Weed

"Every day I ask our prosecutors to keep Manhattan safe and make our justice system more equal and fair."

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|||Shane Cotee/Dreamstime.com
Shane Cotee/Dreamstime.com

Manhattan's district attorney (DA) office will no longer prosecute criminal cases based on no more than possessing or smoking marijuana, effective August 1. The new policy, which was announced in a press release, is expected to reduce marijuana prosecution by 96 percent.

The DA will still prosecute cases involving the sale of marijuana or demonstrated threats to public safety.

"Every day I ask our prosecutors to keep Manhattan safe and make our justice system more equal and fair," said DA Cyrus Vance in the press release. Vance touted a study on marijuana and public safety, which he said found "virtually no public safety rationale for the ongoing arrest and prosecution of marijuana smoking, and no moral justification for the intolerable racial disparities that underlie enforcement."

The study revealed that in 2017, black and Hispanic New Yorkers made up 86 percent of marijuana possession arrests; just 9 percent were white. The study also found racial disparities in police responses to marijuana complaints—disparities that it said "become all the more intolerable in light of the fact that they produce no meaningful criminal justice outcome."

"Tomorrow, our Office will exit a system wherein smoking a joint can ruin your job, your college application, or your immigration status, but our advocacy will continue," Vance concluded. "I urge New York lawmakers to legalize and regulate marijuana once and for all."

Vance's office is also working with public defense organizations to seal past marijuana convictions this fall. As with an expungement, sealing a record will make its contents unavailable to the public. Unlike an expungement, which removes a criminal record altogether, the contents of a sealed record are still accessible by court order.

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  1. Doesn’t NY already have a law that possession isn’t arrestable (unless the police search you and then arrest you for public display of any MJ they found, of course)?

    1. Yes.

      So police do a Terry stop, ask you to empty your pockets, and then arrest you for possession.

  2. Like gun control, the war of drugs is racist.

  3. While I applaud the relative increase in personal safety/security made here, selective enforcement is generally a bad idea.
    Get bad laws off the books, not off “today’s targeted crimes” list.

  4. They needed to free those prosecutors up to go after straw users.

  5. This is a good first step. Where are we on loose cigarettes?

    1. As marijuana becomes less regulated, tobacco becomes more regulated. The fallacy of “progress”

      1. Until the current tobacco companies get into the weed business, then the progs will become drug warriors that will make Nancy Reagan look like Jerry Garcia.

    2. Still a death sentence.

  6. The study revealed that in 2017, black and Hispanic New Yorkers made up 86 percent of marijuana possession arrests; just 9 percent were white. The study also found racial disparities in police responses to marijuana complaints…

    Correlation does not equal causation. They have not proven that the disparities are racial in nature, only that race is correlated.

    My money is on vulnerability. Pity that we won’t know until some researcher thinks to check, which doesn’t seem to occur to them.

    1. The point is if they were just going around arresting whites and Asians it wouldn’t be a problem. /sarc

      1. Honestly, we might be able to say that without the sarcasm. Problems aren’t really problems until the MSM and the politicians in charge can see a way to benefit from highlighting a problem. At this time, there isn’t as much to be gained by being for whitey and Asians. To wit: family separations at the border. Something we’ve been doing for decades, and yet now it’s a problem when some can make hay off how awful it is to treat immigrants and brown bodies in the same manner we’ve been treating everyone else we don’t care about for years.

        Problems don’t really seem to be problems, more like opportunities or things to ignore. This might be why we solve so few problems, and have so many.

        Hi, Eddy. I missed talking with you. True story.

    2. Those damn honkys have lawyers.

  7. This is what you get when you have a Democrat running a prosecutor’s office.

    Jeff Sessions must be seething about all of this damned liberty and progress.

    1. “”I urge New York lawmakers to … regulate marijuana once and for all.””

      Regulate.* Just like they “regulate” loose cigarettes. See how well that worked out.

      You are right. This IS what happens when Democrats run things.

      *He forgot to say, “Tax and regulate.”

    2. This is what the Democrat prosecutor also does:

      ‘Honest mistakes’: Tourists face jail time for declaring legal handguns at NYC landmarks

      Quote:
      Elizabeth Elderli never leaves her Houston home unarmed. So, when the 31-year-old former U.S. Marine visited Manhattan’s September 11 Memorial, two guns were in her backpack when she saw a “no firearms” sign at the security checkpoint.

      Elderli told a police officer about the loaded 9-mm. and .380-caliber semi-automatic guns — both covered by her Texas-issued concealed weapons permit, which she believed was valid in New York, her attorney claims. But she quickly learned that the Empire State’s gun control laws bear no resemblance to those in effect back home. Elderli was arrested in the Saturday incident, charged with felony possession of a weapon and left facing 3? to 15 years in prison.

    3. Also brought to you courtesy of the Democrat DA in Manhattan:

      Liberal Democrat New York City has arrested and imprisoned thousands of minorities for carrying ordinary pocketknives:

      How a ’50s-Era New York Knife Law Has Landed Thousands in Jail

      Quote:
      80 percent of weapons recovered under stop-and-frisk were knives, according to an analysis of the department’s own statistics. And experts say the vast majority of those were likely misclassified as “gravity knives.” Whether deliberate or not, dramatically expanding the definition of an illegal knife has not only landed thousands of innocent people in jail — it also had the effect of making stop-and-frisk appear far more effective than it actually was.

      Fully 86% of those arrested are Black or Hispanic.

  8. Thanks man but I don’t need your permission.

    In fact, when I was living in the bowery back in 1982, I always smoked the weed, so I was disobeying you.

    I fought the law
    and I won
    I fought the law
    and I won

    Hahahahahahahahaa

  9. It gives them more time to sue oil companies for making gasoline.

  10. THE LAW IS THE LAW

  11. Notice that they are only going to stop prosecution, they are not promising to stop shooting you.

  12. I know ignorance of the law is no defence, but how am I supposed to know which laws are enforced?
    I know there are laws that don’t apply, depending on whom your are, whom you know, and where you come from.
    Are laws no longer enforced still used to pile on and coerce a plea deal?
    I’m starting to wonder if the ‘three felonies a day ‘ might be a tad underestimated.

  13. And here we are again–

    The study revealed that in 2017, black and Hispanic New Yorkers made up 86 percent of marijuana possession arrests; just 9 percent were white. The study also found racial disparities in police responses to marijuana complaints?disparities that it said “become all the more intolerable in light of the fact that they produce no meaningful criminal justice outcome.”

    Let’s not do this because pot should be legal.

    Let’s not do this because the state should have no say in what one voluntarily puts into their body.

    No.

    Let’s do it because it’s a crime, and too many black people are getting busted for it because of racism. Because rayciss rayciss racism.

    Not because they’re sitting on their steps hanging out and smoking. No. Or because they’re walking through the park smoking. No. Nothing like that at all.

    They’re getting busted when they smoke out in public because they’re black. Because racism.

    And add some Puerto Ricans into the ‘study’ so we’re not so obvious.

    Racism.

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