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Brooklyn DA Will Dismiss Low-Level Marijuana Cases, Report Says

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WNYC
Mayor de Blasio says possessing small amounts of marijuana should not carry a criminal penalty. (MARTIN BERNETTI/Getty)

The Brooklyn district attorney's office will no longer prosecute people arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana, according to a confidential policy proposal obtained by The New York Times.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said on Tuesday that he has not yet had a conversation with the district attorney's office about the proposal.

"The department continues to make marijuana arrests," he said. "Although we have been reducing them and attempting to use a lot more discretion."

Bratton said he will work with political leaders and various prosecutors' offices on how to address low-level marijuana cases.

But he said he is "a strong believer that it should not be decriminalized."

According to the memo obtained by the Times, cases will be "immediately dismissed" if the defendant has a minimal criminal record, and that "police will be directed to destroy the defendant's fingerprints."

Speaking in Albany, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the memo appeared to be in line with his administration's decision to go after more serious crimes.

"To no longer have a criminal penalty for the display of a small amount of marijuana, I think that's a common sense change we have to make," de Blasio said. "But before I comment on the details in his proposal, I'd have to see the actual memo."

The Brooklyn DA's office would not comment on whether it plans to stop prosecuting low-level marijuana offenses.

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Comments [1]

Isis

Long overdue!!!

Apr. 24 2014 09:12 AM

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