Brooklyn DA says his office won’t prosecute minor pot charges
4/20 was Sunday and now comes more good news for marijuana smokers in one of NYC’s five boroughs: The NY Post reports that Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson issued a memo to the NYPD that his office will no longer prosecute people caught with small amounts of pot, or caught smoking it in public:
In a move that directly bucks the Police Department’s own policy and that of other DAs in the city, Brooklyn prosecutors will be directing cops to free the defendants, seal their cases and destroy their fingerprint file, according to a memo sent the NYPD and obtained by The Post.
“The goal of this new policy is to ensure that the resources of this office are allocated in a manner that most enhances public safety, and individuals, especially young people of color, do not become unfairly burdened and stigmatized by involvement in the criminal-justice system…
…Even when the defendant is issued a [desk-appearance ticket] (sparing him or her the daunting holding-cell experience), that defendant still must make sure that he or she appears in court on the DAT arraignment date — a trip to the courthouse and a wait in the courtroom that may eat up most of a day,” the memo says. – [NY Post]
This applies to defendants with clean (or mostly clean) criminal records and no outstanding warrants, and if the charge is a Class B misdemeanor pot possession (aka less than 25 grams of weed).