A Manhattan judge decided to throw out over 3,000 marijuana crime cases after a top prosecutor moved to vacate them last Wednesday. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., submitted the motion to vacate 3,042 arrest warrants related to marijuana possession and marijuana smoking. Some of these warrants are so old that they were issued in 1978.
According to the DA who moved to vacate the warrants, the judge’s agreement to toss out the cases will alleviate an unnecessary burden on prosecutors so that they can refocus on more important legal matters. It will also allow 3,042 individuals to rest easier at night, knowing that there isn’t a current warrant out for their arrests.
The decision to throw out the cases follows an announcement last month that the DA’s office was going to refrain from prosecuting most drug cases relating pot smoking and pot possession. According to the Manhattan DA, “We are trying to even out racial disparity and rationalize and right-size our criminal-justice efforts.” The DA has described the dismissal of the cases as a step in the right direction toward ending the racial inequalities associated with marijuana law enforcement. Approximately 79 percent of the dismissed cases related to ethnic minorities.
If you have a pending warrant out for your arrest relating to allegations of marijuana possession or marijuana smoking in New York, you might want to investigate how this recent mass dismissal could affect your pending criminal matter. You may also want to determine whether any criminal defense or other legal options could be available to help you defend yourself against any pending allegations in court.