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Baltimore to no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases

BALTIMORE (AP) — The state’s attorney in Baltimore will no longer prosecute any marijuana possession cases, regardless of the quantity of the drug or an individual’s prior criminal record, authorities announced Tuesday.

Marilyn Mosby, the city’s top prosecutor, said pot possession cases have no public safety value, erode public trust in law enforcement, and intensify existing racial disparities in the criminal justice system since arrests disproportionately occur in communities of color.

Mosby’s office will still go after dealers and traffickers by prosecuting marijuana distribution cases. But officials said the money and energy prosecuting any type of simple possession case could now be redirected to address more significant crimes in a U.S. city grappling with chronically high violent crime rates and no shortage of dangerous drug syndicates.

“No one who is serious about public safety can honestly say that spending resources to jail people for marijuana use is a smart way to use our limited time and money,” she said.

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