Weed is racist?

Via Tampa Bay Times:

Faced with fresh evidence of the racial disparity in marijuana enforcement across New York City, Manhattan’s district attorney said Tuesday he will largely stop prosecuting people for possessing or smoking marijuana.

The move by District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. came the same day that Mayor Bill de Blasio promised that the city’s police department would overhaul its marijuana enforcement policies in the next 30 days. Brooklyn’s district attorney also said he would scale back prosecutions.

“We must and we will end unnecessary arrests and end disparity in enforcement,” de Blasio said at a conference of the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.

Vance said that his office will stop prosecuting marijuana possession and smoking cases starting Aug. 1 except for a few cases involving “demonstrated public safety concerns.”

The change, he said, would reduce marijuana prosecutions in the borough from roughly 5,000 per year to about 200.

“The dual mission of the Manhattan D.A.’s office is a safer New York and a more equal justice system,” he said in a statement. “The ongoing arrest and criminal prosecution of predominantly black and brown New Yorkers for smoking marijuana serves neither of these goals.”

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