Thousands of open marijuana cases, that were on the docket because of open warrants, have been dismissed in Brooklyn.
Young people and communities of color have felt the biggest impact from the criminalization of marijuana, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
He says that’s why he moved to have open cases dismissed. In a Zoom call, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, along with Brooklyn defenders and the Legal Aid Society, asked the judge to dismiss 3,578 marijuana cases.
He also asked the judge to vacate guilty pleas, relevant arrest warrants and convictions, which she agreed to.
Gonzalez says 90% of the people charged are people of color. These convictions, he says, prevented individuals from pursuing opportunities in life.
Brooklyn DA Gonzalez says 240 active cases where marijuana was charged were dismissed since March when the state legislature legalized marijuana.
Charges involving marijuana in felony cases are being dismissed during court proceedings.
Only eight cases involving marijuana charges remain in Brooklyn Criminal Court. Marijuana charges in serious felony cases being heard in Supreme Court will be dismissed during court proceedings.
Over the years, the DA’s office has stopped prosecuting possession and smoking cases. He says this is a step in strengthening community trust in the criminal justice system.