Thirty-five outstanding bench warrants for low-level charges of possession of marijuana are set to be dismissed by the district attorney’s office of New York’s Erie County. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s declaration enforced the resolution that the city’s police department would stop prosecuting mediocre cannabis-related crimes.
District Attorney John Flynn said in a press conference that as Albany continues to fight for legalization, he will be relieving a burden people who are faced with low-level cannabis-related charges. He also said that people charged for crimes related to cannabis are unfairly denied of their rights to employment, student loans, or other services because of a low-level marijuana charge.
Flynn also stated he would send his office staff to “every town and village court” in Erie County to get their list of huge low-level cannabis bench warrants so that the can easily be dismissed.
According to the district attorney, there is no chance he will voice an opinion on marijuana legalization. However, he appreciated the fact that there is a “social justice component” to putting an end to cannabis prohibition.
Flynn said that the evidence supporting marijuana legalization is clear and the numbers are there. He also noted that many minorities are getting arrested for low-level marijuana offenses. The stats prove that both whites and non-whites use marijuana equally, which means that there’s a problem.
According to Flynn, among the 35 bench warrants who had their cases dismissed, 28 of them were people of color.
Flynn also mentioned Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez during the press conference. Last year, Attorney Eric Gonzalez declared that his office would permit Brooklynites to file a case to get rid of their minor pot charges. During that period, Gonzalez also mentioned the racial disparities of the justice system as a primary reason for the change in policy. According to Attorney Eric Gonzalez, pursuing low-level marijuana offenses will not change anything. He said that because he understands that the racial disparities in enforcement concerning marijuana charges will not change.
During the decision-making process on cannabis policing, New York law enforcement is much aware of the fact that a change in regulation will come in due time. At the beginning of the year, Governor Andrew Cuomo added important objectives on a plan to legalize marijuana, filled with possible tax rates in his address to the state.
There are many reasons to legalize marijuana in New York, but Governor Cuomo has mostly shown interest to the green in the green. He also mentioned the fact that a maximum of $300 million a year in taxes could be anticipated from the legalization of recreational cannabis to adults over the age of 21. Recently, documents were revealed stating that Cuomo is being influenced by some marijuana organizations to prohibit home grows. However, there is no proof that Governor Cuomo is in support of deal for the commercial industry.
During Cuomo’s first 100 days of his current term, he made recreational cannabis a goal and famously changed his stance on marijuana legalization last year during actress Cynthia Nixon’s primary challenge. It’s anticipated that New York’s Congress could authorize a cannabis regulatory program budget by the beginning of the fiscal year.