Manhattan district attorney dismisses 4,500+ marijuana cases

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- The Manhattan District Attorney dismissed thousands of marijuana cases Wednesday.

District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. appeared virtually in Manhattan Criminal Court Wednesday night and moved to dismiss 4,503 cases connected to marijuana possession and smoking.

"Dismissing marijuana cases en masse is an important step toward addressing the decades of racial disparities behind marijuana enforcement in New York City," said District Attorney Vance. "But Albany must not delay in implementing its promises to legalize marijuana in New York State."

RELATED | Bronx DA Darcel Clark dismisses more than 6,000 pot cases

Those dismissals include 1,794 criminal court cases and 2,709 summons cases ranging from violations to felonies.

He says that legal sales for adult use, not just decriminalization, are necessary to stop illegal markets from "operating without regulatory control, address discriminatory enforcement, and meaningfully advance social justice."

In 2018, the District Attorney's Office dismissed all 3,042 cases available in its records dating back to 1978.

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