After decades of advocacy and protest, ample millions of life-altering arrests and incarcerations, and billions of dollars and human-hours wasted, NYC residents may soon see some relief in how the Big Apple treats cannabis users of color here in the nation’s consumption capital.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that the New York Police Department (NYPD) intends to reform its cannabis enforcement policies over the next months. “We must end unnecessary arrests and end disparity in enforcement,” de Blasio commented on Twitter.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office, which represents the city’s largest borough, says it will no longer file charges in most marijuana possession and smoking cases, according to a statement released by District Attorney Cy Vance.
The office announced it would “decline to prosecute marijuana possession and smoking cases” starting August 1, but that it had also invited the city “to recommend limited exceptions to this policy grounded in demonstrated public safety concerns before the policy becomes effection.”
Vance commented, “The dual mission…