Brooklyn prosecutor says won't prosecute most low-level marijuana possession arrests

Jennifer Peltz / The Associated Press
July 8, 2014 04:47 PM

NEW YORK, N.Y. - 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 misdemeanour marijuana possession cases last year ended up being dismissed at arraignment. Critics say the process is costly, burdensome and time consuming.

Thompson says the new approach won't apply to 16- and 17-year-olds or to people caught smoking in public or near children.

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Associated Press writer Jake Pearson contributed to this report.


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