George vs. Hynes on Marijuana Possession

In a Brooklyn Daily interview, Democrat Abe George, the former Manhattan assistant district attorney challenging veteran Brooklyn District Attorney Charlie Hynes to a primary next fall, promised that, if elected, he would treat possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana, typically charged as a misdemeanor, as a non-criminal violation.

Violations don't normally show up on a criminal record check.

That move, George said, would allow Brooklyn prosecutors to focus on serious crime, like Brooklyn's soaring homicide rate.

According to 2010 data, marijuana possession, the city's most common type of arrest, accounted for 140 arrests a day citywide. The NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk program, which forces detainees to empty their pockets, ups the chances that the 25-gram misdemeanor amount will come into plain view.

The city spends an estimated $75 million a year prosecuting weed possession.

Brooklyn DA Charlie Hynes countered that, until the Republican-dominated State Senate agrees to move Gov. Andrew Cuomo's marijuana decriminalization bill, his office will continue offering adjournments in contemplation of dismissal (ACDs) to defendants without prior criminal records caught with misdemeanor amounts of weed. Unless the defendant is arrested again, an ACD ends in dismissal a year later.

George went further, saying that, if elected, he would halt the NYPD stop-and-frisk program in Brooklyn.

That would be in line with NYCLU statistics showing that the total number of NYPD stop-and-frisks fell by 30% in 2012 compared to last year, apparently due to public outcry against the practice. 

According to the NYCLU, about 87% of stop-and-frisks target Blacks and Latinos, and 90% of stop-and-frisks produce no criminal charges.

The article from Brooklyn Daily.

The next seven states likely to legalize marijuana [Rolling Stone.]

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