Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson’s office is poring over hundreds of old low-level marijuana arrests and tickets, deciding which will be tossed out as part of the department’s plan to decline to prosecute many people caught with small amounts of pot, reports DNAinfo New York. “We're going to look at each pending case on a case-by-case basis and make a decision,” Thompson said, adding that since the new policy went into effect July 8, “we've already started declining to prosecute certain cases.”
“We have not found any other DA in the country where marijuana is illegal who's willing to take a different approach like this,” Thompson added. “We think it's important.” A main purpose of the pot prosecution overhaul, Thompson said, is to free up “our limited law enforcement resources” by dropping many of the thousands of marijuana cases each year that result from police finding a small amount of pot in a pocket or backpack. More than 8,500 people were arrested in Brooklyn last year for low-level pot possession, and two-thirds of such cases citywide were dismissed. Thompson said he is not worried about the police department’s instructing officers to continue making arrests for low-level marijuana possession.