Abe George, an eight-year prosecutor running for Brooklyn District attorney, says that if he’s elected, he’ll stop giving criminal charges in small-time pot possession cases–whether or not the state ever opts to formally decriminalize the plant. “We don’t have to wait for New York state legislature to act,” he said. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen with them, but rather than wait, we can do this ourselves.”
Under George, people caught with under 25 grams of weed (which bafflingly, is usually referred to as a “small amount” in the mainstream press) would simply be hit with noncriminal misdemeanors that don’t show up on criminal records. According to the candidate, that move to decriminalize would allow cops and prosecutors to focus on more serious crimes. “Let’s take the resources we spend here and refocus them in areas that are more important,” he said.
And though small pot possession is only a misdemeanor now if the weed is in public view, George also says he’ll work to end stop-and-frisk, which gives officers a loophole by allowing them to make people empty their pockets. It’s unclear, however, how he plans to put a stop to the policy. “Marijuana has been a pathway for getting minorities in trouble for too long,” said the attorney. “These misdemeanors justify these illegal stop and frisks.”
(Photo: Park Ranger/Flickr)