Jefferson Co. Attorney won’t prosecute small pot possession

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The Jefferson County Attorney says his office will no longer prosecute small marijuana possession cases, pointing to racial disparities in the enforcement of pot laws in Kentucky’s largest city.

County Attorney Mike O’Connell says his office will dismiss citations for possession of marijuana for one ounce or less when it is the most serious or only charge against the person. Saying he “must act,” O’Connell referenced the relaxing of marijuana laws in other U.S. cities.

He says the policy change will free up his office to focus more on gun, domestic violence and drunken driving cases.

O’Connell spoke from a courtroom to announce the policy Wednesday morning. He cited a 2013 study that found that African Americans are four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.

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