Cuomo To Call For Decriminalization Of Possession Of Small Amounts Of Pot In Public

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andrew-cuomoIn a move that could drastically reduce the number of arrests related to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to ask lawmakers to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view.

Possession of less than 25 grams was reduced to a violation in 1977, subject to a ticket and fine. If the pot is burning or in public view, it rises to a misdemeanor that leads to arrest.

More than 500,000 New Yorkers were arrested last year for possessing small amounts of pot, according to state data released in February, a statistic critics have said is driven by the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program that unfairly targets minorities.

Many were arrested after being asked to empty their pockets during stop-and-frisks.

“I think that’s wrong,” one man said. “First of all, they shouldn’t be stopping and frisking anybody and it’s just over populating the jails for a small amount of weed.”

“I think it’s violating people’s rights,” one woman said.

But others said the policy acts as a deterrent and needs to be enforced.

“Obviously, it’s a drug,” said another. “It’s not right for the youth.”

In September of last year, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered his officers to stop arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Kelly said most arrests are from drug transactions or cops witnessing someone smoking pot in public.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement Monday supporting the governor’s plan, saying in part:

“The Governor’s proposal today is consistent with the Commissioner’s directive, and strikes the right balance by ensuring that the NYPD will continue to have the tools it needs to maintain public safety – including making arrests for selling or smoking marijuana.”

Bloomberg said Kelly will be in Albany to show his support for Cuomo’s plan when the details of it are announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, adding “we look forward to working with legislative leaders to help pass a bill before the end of session.”

{1010 WINS/Matzav.com Newscenter}

4 COMMENTS

  1. So possession of 25 grams of marijuana will be OK, but possession of 64 oz of Coke (the legal kind) will not be?

    Makes sense. Way to go, chachmei New York. I suggest you become a sister city with Chelm; or maybe Sedom.

  2. Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement Monday supporting the governor’s plan, saying in part:

    “The Governor’s proposal today is consistent with the Commissioner’s directive, and strikes the right balance by ensuring that the NYPD will continue to have the tools it needs to maintain public safety – including making arrests for selling or smoking marijuana.”

    So pot is legal but too much soda isn’t???

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