Brooklyn District Attorney to Immediately Stop Most Low-Level Cannabis Prosecutions

Brooklyn, New York District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced in a memo released Tuesday that his office would no longer be prosecuting most low-level cannabis offenses, a policy change which is staunchly opposed by the New York Police Department.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

Under the new policy, which takes effect immediately. Thompson’s office will no longer prosecute cannabis possession charges when the individual has no prior criminal record, or at least no violent record. The policy change will include charges where a person is caught possessing cannabis in public due to the New York’s Police Department’s (NYPD) infamous ‘stop and frisk’ policy; smoking cannabis in public however, may still be prosecuted.

Unfortunately the new policy, though it will likely stop thousands annually from receiving cannabis charges on their record, isn’t going to stop the NYPD from making arrests in Brooklyn for cannabis possession.

“In order to be effective, our police officers must enforce the laws of the State of New York uniformly throughout all five boroughs of the city,” Thompson said in his memo. “Accordingly, the Kings County policy change will not result in any changes in the policies and procedures of the N.Y.P.D.”

According to Thompson’s memo, there were over 8,000 cases in Brooklyn with the top charge being for cannabis possession in the year ending on June 30th.


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