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Weed Decriminalization Comes to Brooklyn?


04.24.14 Andy Cush

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson — who said he would stop prosecuting small-time pot possession offenses during his campaign — is making good on that promise. According to a memo published in the Postanyone with a clean criminal record who is arrested for possession of up to two ounces of weed or smoking in public in Brooklyn will have the charges against them thrown out.

The memo reads in part,

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.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton maintained that “it’s the department’s belief that it should not be decriminalized,” but admitted that “there are different ways of addressing it from a law-enforcement perspective” and that the NYPD is trying to “use a lot more discretion” in the pot arrests that it makes.

Bill de Blasio said he hadn’t yet seen the DA’s memo, but that he believes “the district attorney has some of the same concerns I have” about weed policy.

The best thing about this for Brooklyn? Theoretically, you’ll be in the clear even if you’re arrested for possession repeatedly — if each of those charges is thrown out, you’ll still have a clean record next time. Also, there’s the colossal amount of bud you’re allowed to carry. I’m not complaining, but a note to Mr. Thompson: if you’ve got two ounces on you, you’re probably selling.

(Photo: Wikipedia)