More brownie points for Governor Cuomo (pot brownie points, in fact): the man behind legalizing gay marriage for New York will today tell the state legislature that he supports decriminalizing small amounts of Marijuana in public view—an opinion which directly opposes Mayor Bloomberg.
Already adapted by Connecticut and California among other states, the new code would help soften the blow of New York’s infamous stop-and-frisk law supported by Bloomberg. Critics say the law unfairly targets minority youth, many of whom are pulled over for an unrelated reason, asked to empty their pockets, and arrested for marijuana possession. According to the Gothamist, New York is the “marijuana arrest capital of the world,” with 50,680 marijuana arrests in 2011.
Besides sparing the droves of kids who are sucked into the criminal justice system for carrying 25 grams or less of marijuana (and the public cost of these arrests), Cuomo’s support marks another micro-step on the slow walk towards legalizing marijuana. To keep conservative voters from freaking out, lawmakers who support legalization tend to break off one teensy bit of this issue at a time—which, coincidentally, is also the advisable way to eat a pot brownie.
(Update: NYT now says Bloomberg backs Cuomo’s plan to limit marijuana arrests: “Mr. Bloomberg, whose administration had previously defended low-level marijuana arrests as a way to deter more serious crime, said in a statement that the governor’s proposal “strikes the right balance” in part because it would still allow the police to arrest people who were smoking marijuana in public.”)
(via NY Times)