All In A Day’s Work: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Dismisses Open Cannabis Cases, Moves To Trump Organization Charging
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday to dismiss 4,503 pending marijuana arrest cases, “preventing unnecessary future contact with the criminal justice system â¦ And the police without fear of arrest or deportation â.
Vance called for dismissing the marijuana business en masse an important step towards resolving the decades of racial disparities behind the application of cannabis in New York City.
“But [NYâs capital] Albany must soon follow through on his promises to legalize marijuana in New York State. Legal sales for adults – not just decriminalization – are needed to thwart illicit markets operating without regulatory controls, fight discriminatory enforcement, and significantly advance social justice. “
Not a moment too soon
New York City, which is fast becoming one of the largest cannabis markets in the country, indeed the world, was also known for its very high arrest rates for simple weed possession, affecting the most black and brown New Yorkers. Clean NYPD 2020 data showed that 94% of all weed-related arrests have affected people of color in the city’s five boroughs.
David Holland, criminal defense lawyer and president of Empire State NORML, said Vance’s decision made perfect sense as New York’s recently approved Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) already confirms the automatic erasure of cannabis convictions.
âIt would not make sense to keep these open cases on the books, to put them through the court process only to strike them out under the MRTA.
“But the most important consideration is that getting rid of these open cases avoids unnecessary future damage to those who have already been arrested,” Holland told Benzinga. “In addition, it will save taxpayers the significant sums it would cost to judge cases.”
All in one working day
After dealing with cannabis-related issues in the Big Apple, DA Vance and his team packed their bags and moved on to their next task: indicting a former president.
In fact, the former president has not been charged but the charges still threaten him, writes the New York Times.
Vance said “the work continues” and Trump will remain at the center of the investigation as prosecutors put pressure on the Trump organization’s longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who has been charged with 15 counts of charges, including conspiracy of fraud, tax evasion, falsifying records and executing a 15-year program to help its executives evade taxes.
One wonders what Cyrus Vance will do next.