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Manhattan District Lawyer Vows To Cease Prosecuting Minor Marijuana Instances

In an try to finish inequality within the justice system, Manhattan’s district lawyer has vowed to cease prosecuting minor marijuana circumstances.

District Lawyer Cyrus Vance Jr. introduced the brand new coverage Tuesday, promising to say no to prosecute marijuana possession or smoking circumstances. His resolution, which takes impact on Aug. 1., comes after the DA’s workplace spent six months analyzing locations in the US the place marijuana has been decriminalized. 

“The dual mission of the Manhattan D.A.’s Office is a safer New York and a more equal justice system,” Vance mentioned in a press launch. “The ongoing arrest and criminal prosecution of predominantly black and brown New Yorkers for smoking marijuana serves neither of these goals.”

The Manhattan DA’s workplace is working with Mayor Invoice de Blasio and the New York police commissioner to ascertain when exceptions to the brand new coverage is likely to be mandatory.

De Blasio hinted on the coverage change throughout a convention earlier Tuesday, saying that the New York Police Division would “overhaul” its insurance policies on implementing marijuana circumstances within the subsequent 30 days.

Brooklyn District Lawyer Eric Gonzalez additionally asserted his stance on marijuana circumstances Tuesday by highlighting a pilot program launched three months in the past by his workplace.

As part of the pilot program, the Brooklyn DA’s workplace, in response to Gonzalez, has already been declining to prosecute “some instances of smoking marijuana in public where a public nuisance was not created.”

“I believe that low-level marijuana cases should be responded to with summonses rather than arrests,” Gonzalez mentioned. “Since 2014, the Brooklyn DA’s Office has led the way in declining to prosecute marijuana possession cases, resulting in a 75 percent decline in arrests citywide and confirming that such policy does not adversely affect public safety.”

Tuesday’s bulletins recommend that New York ― a state presently exploring the opportunity of legalizing marijuana altogether, as different states have ― is beginning to extra forcefully deal with the disproportionate charges at which black folks get arrested for marijuana, although black and white folks use marijuana at virtually the identical charges, in response to the 2016 Nationwide Survey on Drug Use and Well being.

A New York Occasions evaluation printed Sunday revealed that in New York Metropolis, black folks had been arrested on low-level marijuana costs at eight occasions the speed of white folks over the previous three years.

The charges had been even worse in Manhattan, the place black folks had been arrested on marijuana costs at 15 occasions the speed of white folks.

The Manhattan DA’s workplace findings echoed the Occasions’ analysis. 

Noting the racial disparity of marijuana arrests, the Manhattan DA’s workplace mentioned Tuesday that “large numbers of New Yorkers become further alienated from law enforcement and removed from community participation at an enormous cost to the criminal justice system, for virtually no punitive, rehabilitative or deterrent purpose.”

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