Well, at Least There Is One ‘Crime’ New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg Takes Seriously

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg finally found a crime he actually wants to address: People illegally selling marijuana. Yes, that’s right. Out of all the serious crimes the people of New York City have been facing over the skyrocketing crime rates occurring over the past three years, this “woke” prosecutor is cracking down on folks selling weed.

On Tuesday, Bragg issued a statement putting pot sellers on notice: Your days are numbered. He said his office “sent more than 400 letters to illegal smoke shops Tuesday threatening them with the boot, saying he has the power to launch evictions under civil law,” according to the New York Post.

The report continued:

The move comes less than a month after local Sheriff Anthony Miranda testified during a City Council hearing that an astounding 1,400 shops have popped up in the Big Apple illegally selling cannabis products.

A study by industry groups released at the end of last year said the problem was undoubtedly far worse.

A survey conducted by the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association, NJ Cannabis Trade Association, and Connecticut Medical Cannabis Council concluded that there are “likely tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses” operating in the city.

The study also claimed many of these illegal outfits are “selling bad or dangerously tainted weed,” according to The Post. Some of the products contained E. coli, salmonella, heavy metals, and pesticides.

The problem became so pronounced that Mayor Eric Adams created a cannabis task force to deal with the issue.

But one of the issues with this situation is that New York’s government actually created the problem in the first place. For starters, while recreational marijuana use is already legal, the state has been stingy with issuing licenses to those who wish to sell it. Indeed, the very first licensed dispensary opened in December of last year.

But even if you want to get a license, the state does not make it easy. To open and operate a dispensary, you’re going to have to cough up between $400,000 and $1 million, depending on the size and location of the business. Obtaining a conditional adult-use dispensary license will run you about $2,000. Keeping up with the numerous regulations and fees can cost even more money and time. In light of this, can there be any surprise people are selling weed illegally?

As usual, government makes everything worse, doesn’t it?

But another odd factor in this equation is the fact that Bragg is not exactly known for taking crime seriously. He has been roundly criticized for his soft-on-crime approach to dealing with criminal activity. Indeed, the so-called progressive policies he supports do more to protect criminals than civilians.

In January 2022, he came under fire for a memo he released in which he issued guidance to prosecutors concerning certain types of crimes. He directed his office to refrain from prosecuting offenders accused of trespassing, driving without a license, jumping subway turnstiles, resisting arrest, marijuana possession, prostitution, and others.

But even worse, he told his prosecutors to go softer on theft and even armed robbery cases.

“The purpose of the memo is to provide prosecutors with a framework for how to approach cases in the best interest of safety and justice. Each case is fact specific,” he said in an attempt to clarify after the inevitable backlash.

Under Bragg’s leadership, first-degree robbery should be charged as petty larceny, even in cases in which the perpetrator uses the threat of force or brandishes a weapon. As long as the assailant “does not create a genuine risk of physical harm,” prosecutors would have to downgrade the offense to petty larceny, a misdemeanor.

The Heritage Foundation noted:

Someone commits a robbery while brandishing a gun that, unbeknownst to the victim, is not loaded. Since the gun is not actually loaded, under Bragg’s policy, there would be no “genuine risk of physical harm,” even though the victim would be scared for her life. Robbery is a Class B violent felony, meaning that, if convicted, a felon would receive a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 25 years. Petty larceny is a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum punishment of one year in jail, and is eligible for probation up to three years.

Bragg’s approach to crime has only emboldened the bad guys, according to Paul DiGiacomo, president of New York City’s Detectives’ Endowment Association during a conversation with Fox News.

“His message was sent to the criminal element. And this is why these cops were shot,” he said, “because you’re sending a message out there that there are no consequences for committing crimes and there are no consequences for resisting arrest.”

It seems rather odd that Bragg would be so gung-ho about cracking down on weed when his office has released criminals that went on to violently assault civilians and police officers alike. Of course, I must admit to having a bias in this regard – I believe marijuana should have never been illegal in the first place. Nevertheless, it is worth acknowledging that Bragg’s priorities seem to be out of order. Violent criminals are far more of a threat to public safety than some guy selling pot in a bodega. Perhaps getting that tax revenue from sales of the magic plant are more important than protecting New Yorkers?


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