New laws governing marijuana offenses took effect in Westchester County Monday. he Possession of small amounts (two ounces or less) of marijuana will no longer result in a criminal conviction, according to District Attorney Anthony Scarpino.
“This will avoid the stigma of a criminal record for many of our young people with long-lasting negative consequences disproportionate to the minor nature of the offense,” he writes in a press release.
The District Attorney’s review of the prosecution of lower level marijuana offenses is ongoing, the statement says, and further changes will be announced as they are adopted.
DA Scarpino said, “After a careful review of marijuana cases in Westchester, as well as discussions with police, community leaders and advocates, we have made the decision to change how we prosecute such offenses. This decision not to prosecute specific cases will allow many people to move forward with their lives without the stigma attached to criminal records of any kind, records that cause discrimination in housing, job and school applications. Much of this has burdened our minority communities and we believe it is time to rectify that.”