NEW YORK (Reuters) - Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Wednesday dropped more than 3,000 open marijuana smoking and possession cases dating back to 1978, saying the action would serve justice and address racial disparities in the prosecution of marijuana offenses.
Vance moved to vacate 3,042 outstanding warrants and dismiss the underlying charges before New York City Criminal Court Judge Kevin McGrath. The judge said the cases must be sealed within 90 days.
The district attorney’s decision applies to misdemeanor and violation cases in which a warrant was issued because the defendant failed to appear in court. It does not apply to any cases where a defendant was convicted, or to more serious charges like selling marijuana.
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