Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said last week that his office is no longer prosecuting low-level marijuana possession cases and is vacating more than 1,400 related warrants.
Over the past year, the number of simple marijuana possession cases prosecuted in Brooklyn was down by 98 percent, Gonzalez told attendees at a Community Board 2 meeting last Wednesday night.
“It costs my office about $2,000 a pop to process a marijuana arrest. That’s your tax dollars and it’s not keeping us safer,” he said. “I’d rather spend that $2,000 working on a sex crime or domestic violence case.”
Gonzalez said that looking over the statistics made it glaringly obvious that something was wrong with marijuana arrests in Brooklyn.
“We looked at who was getting arrested for possession in Brooklyn. It was 93 percent people of color. In 2013, there were over 15,000 arrested in Brooklyn alone,” he said.
The late Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced in 2014 that he would decline to prosecute some cases involving marijuana charges.
“Under Ken Thompson’s leadership, he was able to cut that number down by about 10,000 fewer cases because he stopped prosecuting street possession cases. The office was still prosecuting smoking cases,” Gonzalez said. “This year, I said I was not going to prosecute any of those cases.” Read more