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Brooklyn DA will stop low level pot prosecutions

New York (AP) -- Prosecutors in one of the nation's largest district attorney's offices say they will stop prosecuting most low-level marijuana possession cases, especially for first-time offenders.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson says Tuesday that the new policy could affect thousands of people who every year are brought to court for having weed and eventually have their cases dismissed anyway.

In 2013 more than two-thirds of the roughly 8,500 class B misdemeanor marijuana possession cases ended up being dismissed at arraignment.

Even so, advocates say that process is costly, burdensome and requires people to come to court.

Thompson says under the new policy, the cost savings will go toward high-level drug enforcement.

He says the new approach won't apply to 16- and 17-year-olds or to people caught smoking in public or near children.

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Washington Times