For all of you Brooklyn weed smokers out there tired of those pesky cops hassling you about the bud you’re carrying, rejoice! Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson told the NYPD via a memo that his office will no longer prosecute patrons for small amounts of greenery, and by small amount we mean two ounces!
A portion of Thompson’s memo addresses the stigma attached to the young people profiled and targeted in stop-and-frisk searches:
“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.”
Ken Thompson is also mindful of the time spent in court handling citations and arraignments:
“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 defendant’s time might otherwise be spent in school, at a job, or caring for a child.”
The policy Ken Thompson wants to implement applies only to defendants with minimal or squeaky clean criminal records who are busted on a Class-B misdemeanor marijuana charge. The prosecutors are to check the criminal background the defendant after their busts. Then, if the criteria is met, prosecutors will direct police to get rid of the cases.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton shared his thoughts on the matter with the NY Post stating:
“Anytime someone is using drugs it has the potential to lead to other crimes. Marijuana is a drug. I believe anyone who uses it should be arrested no matter the quantity.”
While the Commissioner is not pro pot, we still view the DA’s declaration as a significant step towards victory.
[h/t Brooklyn Vegan]