We have been taught that marijuana is a "gateway" drug and that early use can predict future problems.  However, these days it's becoming legal in some states.  Is it time to change the policy on marijuana?

That's the plan from some lawmakers after the District Attorney in Manhattan has announced he will stop prosecuting low-level marijuana cases as of August 1.

His name is Cyrus Vance and he's one of the first D.A.'s in New York to take this stance on marijuana.  The decision came as part of a new effort to "reduce inequality and unnecessary interactions with the criminal justice system."

As described in the Report’s Executive Summary, “our office has, over the past several months, gathered data and conducted interviews with dozens of prosecutors, regulators, and law enforcement representatives from states that have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. Our purpose was to understand the challenges that will need to be anticipated by lawmakers in our state. This work has yielded valuable insights into how responsibly to frame any future laws and regulations to avoid negative impacts on public safety.”

Is this a first step towards making marijuana legal in New York State?  We've heard legislators who are considering it.  Now that the precedent has been set, you can be sure that there will be a lot of talk around it these days.

Many people think that "it's just a little weed" when it comes to marijuana possession and use.  But at this point, in New York State, it is still illegal.  Regardless of the severity of the crime, if you're arrested with marijuana on you, you've still committed a crime...at this point.

What do you think?  Is this a big step in the right direction?  Or is it the beginning of a downfall?