Bronx DA Clark dismisses more than 6,000 marijuana cases in wake of legalization

More than 6,000 Bronx misdemeanor marijuana cases went up in smoke Thursday, dismissed in line with state laws making much use of the drug legal.

The move follows state law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana — including smoking in public — that took effect two months ago.

My office has long stopped prosecuting for these offenses, because they were not a direct threat to public safety, and they gave people a criminal record that had negative collateral consequences on employment, housing, education, immigration and other matters,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in court.

“Mindful of these harsh realities for those affected, our application today is an effort to bring into effect my office’s shared purpose of pursuing justice with integrity aligned with the legislative goals outlined above.”

Judge George Grasso, chief supervising judge for Bronx Criminal Court, at Clark’s request put 6,089 open cases where the primary charge was sale or possession of marijuana on three calendars.

Two of the calendars contained pending cases, and the third included cases in which defendants had already pleaded guilty.

As each calendar was called in court, Grasso granted Clark’s motion to dismiss the cases on each one. He also sealed the cases from public scrutiny.

Most of those affected by the dismissals could not afford their own lawyers and were represented by legal groups who provide free counsel.

More at NY Daily News.

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