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New York prosecutor announces dismissal of thousands of marijuana cases

In the image, the New York district attorney for Manhattan, Cyrus Vance. EFE / Justin Lane / Archive

New York, Jun 30 (EFE) .- The New York district attorney for the Manhattan district, Cyrus Vance, announced on Wednesday the dismissal of 4,503 marijuana cases opened in his jurisdiction, just three months after the legalization of recreational consumption of this drug in New York.
“Dismissing marijuana cases en masse is an important step in addressing the decades of racial disparities behind the enforcement of marijuana law in New York City,” Vance said, quoted in a statement.
But, in addition, the prosecutor asked the state authorities not to delay in implementing the marijuana legalization law, because -in his opinion- “legal sale for use by adults, in addition to decriminalization, is necessary. to hamper illicit markets that operate without regulatory controls. ”
Vance noted that as early as 2018 his office dismissed 3,042 marijuana cases dating back to 1978 and in which the charges were solely for possession or use of marijuana.
Among the cases that have been dismissed, there are 1,794 that were being tried by criminal means.
The Vance measure also eliminates the “collateral consequences associated with having an open case for marijuana”, such as in the search for employment or the application for nationality or a green card in the case of immigrants.
“Warranted New Yorkers face unnecessary loss of employment or housing and it has consequences on immigration and because (undocumented immigrants) fear arrest by an open warrant, they are sometimes reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement and district attorneys, undermining public safety, “Vance said.
The prosecutor, who will leave his post in December, announced last April that he will stop prosecuting prostitution or massage cases without a license, and requested that thousands of court orders for incidents related to these two activities be annulled.
Specifically, Vance then asked Judge Charlotte Davidson to revoke a total of 5,994 arrest warrants and to dismiss the charges of prostitution, unlicensed massage and circulation in public places for the purpose of prostitution, a request that the gown accepted.

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