No More Prosecuting Low-level Marijuana Offenders
According to Times Union, starting Dec. 1 Albany County District Attorney would no longer prosecute anyone accused of possessing up to 2 ounces of marijuana, a B-level misdemeanor that carries a maximum of three months in jail. In 2017, the City of Albany and towns of Bethlehem, Colonie and Guilderland had 1,042 low-level marijuana cases that would not have been prosecuted had this new policy been in place. Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who campaigned in 2004 championing reform of the state's harsh Rockefeller drug law, says that the policy change should not be seen as license to smoke pot. The office will still prosecute low-level charges where someone is smoking in the open air, in a vehicle and/or in front of children.
"This, I felt, could be the appropriate thing to refocus our efforts, our energy and our resources to deal with greater threats to us," Soares said. Prosecuting the low-level pot cases is a "waste of resources, and we can be putting those resources to address things that are really impacting the health and safety of our community."
District Attorneys Association of New York, is facing more harmful threats from the use of heroin and fentanyl. Since the year 2018, there has been 101 death from the cause of heroin uses alone, reports from Country Health Rankings and Roadmaps. Still the new law does not give the people a smoke freely pass, anyone who is consuming marijuana, smoking marijuana in the presence of children, will be prosecuted falling under the DWAI, (Driving While Ability Impaired) law. People charged with trafficking, selling marijuana or carrying greater quantities of pot (more then 2 ounces) can still face prosecution on misdemeanor or felony charges.
The worlds view of marijuana is changing all over the Unities States. Following the lead of nine states and the District of Columbia, New York appears poised to legalize recreational use, which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo now supports. at a press conference Asked whether he supports legalized recreational use of marijuana, Soares saying, "I'm the district attorney: I have the burden of proof, and not the luxury of an opinion," According to WMAC Northeastern Report.