2 New York City DAs All But Abandon Marijuana Prosecutions

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NEW YORK (AP) — Marijuana prosecutions have plunged in two New York City boroughs as their district attorneys stopped pursuing most cannabis cases and police changed their approach to marijuana enforcement.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. released statistics Nov. 1, 2018,  showing arraignments for low-level marijuana offenses dropped about 87 percent from August through October 2018, compared with those months in 2017.

Nearly three-quarters of the 168 arraignments resulted in immediate dismissals.

Vance and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez stopped prosecuting most new misdemeanor cannabis possession and smoking cases since summer 2018, saying they did little for public safety. Meanwhile, the New York Police Department furthered a shift toward issuing tickets instead of making arrests in most minor marijuana cases.

Gonzalez’s office says it’s had fewer than a dozen marijuana cases in recent months’ caseloads, compared with 349 in January 2018.

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