NEW YORK — Although marijuana is still illegal in New York, local leaders are working to vacate marijuana cases, with some dating back to the late 1970s. Over 3,000 (3,042 to be exact) low-level marijuana cases were thrown out Wednesday as Manhattan’s top prosecutor furthered a shift away from arresting and prosecuting many people for small-time pot offenses in the nation’s biggest city.
Misdemeanor and violation-level pot possession cases that had sat open for as long as 40 years were dismissed in a matter of minutes after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. asked a court to scrap 3,042 warrants for people who missed court dates and to toss out the cases themselves.
“If anyone was brought in today on one of these warrants, my office would dismiss the case,” the Democrat said. He called the mass dismissal “something that is off-script but actually serves the interests of justice enormously.”