The district attorney’s office of New York’s Erie County will be dismissing 35 outstanding bench warrants for low-level charges of possession of marijuana, it was announced Friday. The decision was compelled by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s announcement that the city’s police department would no longer be enforcing low-level cannabis-related crimes.
“As legalization discussions continue in Albany, I am relieving a burden on those individuals who may have these charges hanging over their heads in the interest of justice,” District Attorney John Flynn said at a Friday press conference. “I do not believe people should find themselves in the criminal justice system and unable to apply for employment, student loans, or other services because of a low-level marijuana charge.”
Flynn said his next step will be his office staff going to “every town and village court” in Erie County to get their list of outstanding low-level cannabis bench warrants in order to dismiss them.
Though the district attorney told reporters he was unwilling to voice an opinion on marijuana legalization, he was appreciative of the fact that there is a “social justice component” to ending cannabis prohibition.
“The evidence is clear and the numbers are there,” he said. “You can’t hide