'Manhattan, NY — As TFTP reported earlier this year, after multiple district attorneys in the state announced that they will refuse to prosecute people who are arrested for possessing marijuana, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the NYPD to stop arresting people for smoking marijuana in public. Now, however, they have taken it to another level by throwing out thousands of active arrest warrants for marijuana possession.
In May of this year, the Free Thought Project reported that New York City District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced that his office will refuse to prosecute people for possessing and smoking marijuana. Now, Vance is dropping over 3,000 open marijuana cases dating all the way back to 1978.
Vance noted that this action will serve to address racial disparities in the prosecution of marijuana offenses.
Vance moved to vacate 3,042 outstanding warrants and dismiss the underlying charges before New York City Criminal Court Judge Kevin McGrath. The judge said the cases must be sealed within 90 days, according to Reuters.
“By vacating these warrants, we are preventing unnecessary future interactions with the criminal justice system,” Vance said in court. “We made the decision that it is really in the interest of justice.”
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough. It seems that Vance may be simply trying to relieve his office of the burden of prosecuting harmless marijuana smokers and attempting to claim to be the good guy along the way.'
Read more: Paradigm Shift: Instead of Jailing People, New York Drops Thousands of Arrest Warrants for Weed
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