In a 2011 Associated Press report, 50,000 low-level weed arrests took place in New York per year, more than any other reported crime in the city’s justice system. One out of seven cases in criminal court involved pot, with Black and Hispanic men making up the bulk of the arrested. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has seen enough and is meeting with lawmakers today (June 4) to decriminalize small marijuana possession charges–a move that Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposes.
The New York Times reports that Cuomo will urge lawmakers to amend the “Stop-And-Frisk” law and ask for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of cheeba in public view. Currently under the law, a person with 25 grams or less of the sticky icky should not get arrested unless it is being smoked or used or in general public view. When suspects are stopped and frisked for other reasons, they’re being ordered to empty their pockets which results in a “public view” arrest.
NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly sent out a memo last fall that said his force would not arrest individuals who produce kush from their pockets or person after being stopped. However, it appears that Kelly’s words have fallen on deaf ears. Cuomo isn’t the only elected official who wants to see changes to the law with Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jefferies, a Democrat, and State Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican, both producing a bill that would end low-level weed arrests.
“This proposal will bring long overdue consistency and fairness to New York State’s Penal Law and save thousands of New Yorkers, particularly minority youth, from the unnecessary and life-altering trauma of a criminal arrest and, in some cases, prosecution,” said a Cuomo administration official to the Times.
Apparently the city known as a major terrorist target thinks reefer is worth the millions of dollars it takes to charge and arrest thousands over a dime bag.
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