On Tuesday, June 18, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said she will stop prosecuting most cases of low-level marijuana possession. The decision not to prosecute depends on if there are other charges involved.
This decision came after a report published by Smart Start New York found that African-Americans are four times more likely to be arrested for these offenses than whites.
Local activist group, Roc NORML, say their representatives were able to speak to Doorley.
“They are working with her to seal past records for people accused for these crimes. She agreed to work with us further to make this an automatic process because these people who are convicted of low-level marijuana crimes, this should not be a reactive process,” said Steve VanDeWall, deputy chief of Roc NORML. “It needs to be a proactive process, and we need to engage this community to help them get back on their feet.”
Roc NORML has been working to legalize marijuana in the state and say they still hope New York will pass legislation to decriminalize it.
According to the activist group, Monroe County has one of the highest arrest rates for low-level marijuana-related offenses in the state of New York.