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DA Vance dismisses thousands of pot charges, some decades old

September 12, 2018 - 2:02 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Thousands of New Yorkers got a reprieve on Wednesday, after being arrested on pot charges.

The cases stem from outstanding arrest warrants for misdemeanor marijuana use.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said some cases date back to 1978. All of the warrants were for people who failed to show up in court, and nearly 80 percent were for people of color.

"We are trying to even out racial disparity and rationalize and right-size our criminal justice efforts," Vance said.

Vance was in Manhattan Criminal Court, Tuesday morning to dismiss more than 3,000 cases.

He said the punishment for pot cases don't fit the offense -- drive 70 mph down the West Side Highway and you'll get a ticket, but smoke pot in public and you'll be arrested and spend the night in jail.

The move comes after the NYPD implemented a new policy of not arresting the majority of people caught smoking pot in public.