Manhattan stops prosecuting low-level marijuana cases

Posted at 2:24 PM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 15:46:48-04

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors in Manhattan will no longer pursue low-level marijuana cases.

The new policy took effect on Wednesday, as New York City shifts toward decriminalizing the possession and public smoking of small amounts of pot.

District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. estimates the new policy of declining prosecution will cut Manhattan marijuana cases from about 5,000 per year to fewer than 200 per year.

That's about a 96 percent reduction.

Brooklyn prosecutors started pulling back on marijuana prosecutions in the spring and say they've already seen a drastic drop in court cases. DA Eric Gonzalez says his office went from trying 349 marijuana cases in January to just 29 in June.

Manhattan prosecutors say they'll still pursue cases against marijuana sellers and people posing a significant threat to public safety.