NEW YORK: The Democratic nominee for Brooklyn district attorney wants to decriminalize marijuana. But others argue this strategy will overburden the criminal justice system.
CBS 2 investigative reporter Tamara Leitner looked into both sides of this controversial issue on Friday.
Elizabeth McRae is a recovering drug addict. She said she believes the laws need to be tougher on people caught with marijuana.
“I definitely hit rock bottom. We don’t need to tell people it’s OK. It’s not OK,” McRae said.
Democratic nominee Ken Thompson is pushing to decriminalize marijuana, but still get a ticket and a fine.
“These arrests for small amounts of marijuana are clogging the criminal justice system,” Thompson said.
The 48-year-old former federal prosecutor said if elected, he would not prosecute cases involving less than a half ounce of pot. Instead, the person would be given a violation.
“Brooklyn leads not only the city, but leads the country in these arrests. So we have to be smarter when it comes to how we handle these small amounts of marijuana arrests,” Thompson said.
New Yorkers seemed split on the controversial topic.