Westchester To Stop Prosecuting Many Marijuana Offenses

January 12, 2019 - 3:45 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The Westchester DA will no longer prosecute many marijuana offenses starting next week.

Effective Monday, if someone is caught with two ounces or less of marijuana in Westchester they won’t face prosecution.

That’s because the DA is downgrading the misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession to a violation, which is not a crime.

Currently, a marijuana possession charge could land offenders in jail for up to three months.

DA Anthony Scarpino hasn’t made a decision regarding those who have already been convicted, but those who were recently charged with the offense will likely have their charges dropped.

Scarpino believes the change, which has already been made in Manhattan and Brooklyn, will help get rid of the stigma attached to having a criminal record, which he says leads to discrimination.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wants to legalize recreational marijuana as part of his 2019 legislative agenda.

Now that Democrats control the state Senate and Assembly, the governor believes there are no excuses not to legalize marijuana for adult use.

If legislation is passed, New York would join 10 other states, and the District of Columbia, that have already legalized recreational marijuana.