Internal memo from Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson's office indicates change in marijuana policy

About 8,500 people were processed with low level

About 8,500 people were processed with low level drug charges last year. (Credit: News 12 Brooklyn)

BROOKLYN - An internal memo from Ken Thompson's office says the Brooklyn DA will stop prosecuting people arrested for having small amounts of marijuana.

The memo indicates that cases will be immediately dismissed for anyone caught with a small amount of marijuana who doesn't have a prior criminal record. Their fingerprints will not be kept on file by the police.

News 12 reached out to the DA's office and received a statement saying, "The District Attorney is moving forward on a whole range of smart-on-crime strategies to keep the people of Brooklyn safe while working closely with our partners in law enforcement."

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton responded by saying the department will continue to make marijuana arrests. He says he's a firm believer that marijuana should not be decriminalized. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he hadn't read the memo, but he thinks the bigger goal is to give officers more discretion and focus attention and resources on more serious crimes.

About 8,500 people in Brooklyn were processed last year on low-level drug charges.

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