The Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is following through with the stoppage of prosecuting low-level marijuana offenses. His new policy goes into effect August 1. Vance is also urging the state’s lawmakers to legalize marijuana.
It is estimated that the new policy will reduce marijuana-related prosecutions from about 5,000 to less than 200, according to the New York Post. That represents a reduction of about 96-percent in regards to marijuana possession and use cases. Those that are considered to be dealing or associated with a violent crime are exceptions to this new policy – they will still be prosecuted.
Vance said, “Our research has found virtually no public safety rationale for the ongoing arrest and prosecution of marijuana smoking and no moral justification for the intolerable racial disparities that underlie enforcement. I urge New York lawmakers to legalize and regulate marijuana once and for all.”
Manhattan marijuana convictions, of non-violent/serious matters, will also be sealed by this fall.
The NYPD supports this new policy. The department has already begun a new “cite and release” policy for those smoking marijuana in public. The policy wasn’t set to go into effect until September, but NYPD has already begun issuing a summons instead of arresting offenders.