Philadelphia’s new top prosecutor Larry Krasner told reporters on Thursday that he has dropped more than 51 marijuana possession cases last week after noticing a spike in pot arrests.
The Democrat District Attorney Krasner also said that he will no longer pursue charges in similar cases, adding that the state is better off using the money on more grave cases such as homicide.
“We are going to tell them, yes, drop any cases that are simply marijuana possession,” Krasner, who took office in January, was quoted by Philadelphia NBC News as saying.
“I did it because I felt it was the right thing to do,” he added. “We could use those resources to solve homicides.”
However, Krasner said he is only dropping basic possession cases and those who have small amounts of marijuana, and not the ones related with the intent to sell.
Krasner is a veteran civil rights attorney, known for suing the police department 75 times.
However in 2014, the City of Philadelphia – situated in the state of Pennsylvania – decriminalized possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana, becoming at the time the largest city in the United States to decriminalize marijuana.
It is unclear why Krasner had to drop these cases for small amounts of marijuana when it is already decriminalized.
Pennsylvania already has legalized medical cannabis but recreational cannabis continues to be illegal. Small amounts of marijuana, meanwhile, is decriminalized in a few major cities.