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NY GOP Kills Marijuana Decriminalization Reform

New York decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 1977, but New York City police continue to arrest 50,000 people a year for pot possession after stopping-and-frisking them, then tricking them into emptying their pockets and revealing their baggies of weed, triggering the misdemeanor offense of public possession of marijuana.

March 2012 protest of NYC stop and frisk violations
In a bid to end that practice, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and the Democratically-controlled Assembly moved to reform the decriminalization law by removing the public possession provision with Assembly Bill 10581, but Monday night, Republicans and their Conservative Party allies in the Senate effectively killed it.

The Senate Republicans caved under pressure from Conservative leader Mike Long, who threatened to not allow any Republicans who supported the bill to appear on the Conservative Party line. The Senate then refused to take up the bill. That means the mass arrests, predominantly of young people of color, for what should, under state law, be only a ticketable offense, will continue, costing the state tens of millions of dollars each year.

The Republican failure to act comes in the face of widespread law enforcement support for the reform, including NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the district attorneys in all five New York City boroughs and suburban Nassau County, and even the New York City Patrolman's Benevolent Association. Kelly called the reform "a balanced approach," while Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said it would bring greater "safety and fairness" to the criminal justice system and it was "the right thing to do."

"The Senate Republicans have single-handedly decided to continue ruining tens of thousands of lives -- mostly those of young people of color -- every year. Opposing law enforcement and the clear political consensus in the state is not just heartless -- it's a political miscalculation that will come to haunt them," said Dr. Divine Pryor, executive director of the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions.

"Even Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have come out in support of this legislation. So what's holding up the Senate from passing smart reforms that will eliminate the tens of thousands of unlawful arrests taking place in the city every year?" said Alfredo Carrasquillo, community organizer with VOCAL New York.

Last week, the New York City Council passed a resolution by an overwhelming margin calling for an end to racially biased, costly, unlawful arrests. The resolution, introduced by Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Oliver Koppell, was cosponsored by a majority of council members. The resolution came a day after hundreds of community activists went to Albany to deliver thousands of signatures to demand the New York State Senate pass legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession in public view.

"The New York Senate Republicans are doing what Republicans do best at the federal and local level -- they are obstructing progress and paralyzing government. The Republican Conference in the State Senate is completely out of touch with our communities of color in New York City and because of their inaction, tens of thousands more of our young people of color will be arrested before the end of this year, saddling them with a criminal record," said Mark-Viverito. "The governor, our mayor, the police commissioner, the city council, five district attorneys and criminal justice advocates are all on the same page here. Marijuana was decriminalized in 1977; all we are trying to do is close the 'in public view' loophole that is allowing thousands of unjust arrests of black and Latino youth in our communities."

"It wasn't too long ago that we referred to the 'three men in a room' when discussing the leadership structure in Albany. Now when we talk about leadership in the Senate, we should talk about 'one guy in Brooklyn,' said Gabriel Sayegh, New York state director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "While we are disappointed by the lack of action, we're not going anywhere. This campaign for reform has already scored a major victory by bringing this issue to the attention of New Yorkers and the entire country. We cannot and will not accept a situation where the laws are applied differently to different people based on their race or ethnicity or where they live. We'll keep pushing for reform, for fairness, equality, and justice. Given the overwhelming support by law enforcement for this proposal, I think Majority Leader Skelos and even Mr. Long will come to do what’s right."

Albany, NY
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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LOL DRUGZ ARE GOOD GUISE!

LOL DRUGZ ARE GOOD GUISE!

idiot

your such an idiot marijuanna is not a drug is an herb is beacuse of people like you that we cant get the bill passed

FORGET THE TONE OF THIS ARTICLE, THINK ABOUT THE REAL ISSUES

FUCK THIS! DRUGS ARE LEGIT BAD. I KNEW A GUY WHO GOT LAZY AND STUPID HE SMOKED SO MUCH WEED AND THEN HE DROPPED OUT OF THE IVY LEAGUE UNIVERSITY HE ATTENDED WITH ME. GOOD LUCK GETTING INTO EVEN A LAST RESORT JOB... THE ARMY, WITH YOUR WEED HISTORY, THEY WON'T TAKE YOU AND YOUR STUPID DULLED REFLEXES.

ITS TRUE THOUGH THAT WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT SOME WAY TO PUT THEM TO USE... AT LEAST THE PROFIT GENERATED BY PRIVATE PRISONS WILL PULL US OUT OF THIS "DEPRESSION" (YES THATS WHAT IT IS AND WILL BE WHEN THE CHINA REAL ESTATE BUBBLE BURSTS) MORE QUICKER THAN A BUNCH OF FUCKING STONERS DOING NOTHING BUT SPENDING THEIR HARDWORKING AMERICAN GRANDPARENTS INHERITANCES ON A DISGUSTING WEED

You went to an Ivy league

You went to an Ivy league university?  I seriously doubt that someone who types in all CAPS and uses phrases like "more quicker" went to anything more than a technical college, or even graduated high school for that matter.

I have to feel sorry for

I have to feel sorry for people like you,  just born dumb from all your inbreeding .

FORGET THE TONE OF THIS ARTICLE, THINK ABOUT THE REAL ISSUES

FUCK THIS! DRUGS ARE LEGIT BAD. I KNEW A GUY WHO GOT LAZY AND STUPID HE SMOKED SO MUCH WEED AND THEN HE DROPPED OUT OF THE IVY LEAGUE UNIVERSITY HE ATTENDED WITH ME. GOOD LUCK GETTING INTO EVEN A LAST RESORT JOB... THE ARMY, WITH YOUR WEED HISTORY, THEY WON'T TAKE YOU AND YOUR STUPID DULLED REFLEXES.

ITS TRUE THOUGH THAT WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT SOME WAY TO PUT THEM TO USE... AT LEAST THE PROFIT GENERATED BY PRIVATE PRISONS WILL PULL US OUT OF THIS "DEPRESSION" (YES THATS WHAT IT IS AND WILL BE WHEN THE CHINA REAL ESTATE BUBBLE BURSTS) MORE QUICKER THAN A BUNCH OF FUCKING STONERS DOING NOTHING BUT SPENDING THEIR HARDWORKING AMERICAN GRANDPARENTS INHERITANCES ON A DISGUSTING WEED

 FUCK THIS! DRUGS ARE LEGIT

 

FUCK THIS! DRUGS ARE LEGIT BAD. I KNEW A GUY WHO GOT LAZY AND STUPID HE SMOKED SO MUCH WEED AND THEN HE DROPPED OUT OF THE IVY LEAGUE UNIVERSITY HE ATTENDED WITH ME. GOOD LUCK GETTING INTO EVEN A LAST RESORT JOB... THE ARMY, WITH YOUR WEED HISTORY, THEY WON'T TAKE YOU AND YOUR STUPID DULLED REFLEXES.

ITS TRUE THOUGH THAT WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT SOME WAY TO PUT THEM TO USE... AT LEAST THE PROFIT GENERATED BY PRIVATE PRISONS WILL PULL US OUT OF THIS "DEPRESSION" (YES THATS WHAT IT IS AND WILL BE WHEN THE CHINA REAL ESTATE BUBBLE BURSTS) MORE QUICKER THAN A BUNCH OF FUCKING STONERS DOING NOTHING BUT SPENDING THEIR HARDWORKING AMERICAN GRANDPARENTS INHERITANCES ON A DISGUSTING WEED

...what?

It's clear from your message that you have no idea what you are talking about. In fact, pretty much every point you try to make is entirely false. While I have my doubts that you did go to an Ivy League uni, if the fellow dropped out, it was almost certainly due more to personal issues than cannabis use. Also, even if you completely bypass the ethical issues of private prisons, if you think that any of the money generated by such institutions will be put into '[pulling] us out of this 'depression,' " then I've got a bridge to sell you.

That said, I think you're trolling. 

HEY GUYS MY NEIGHBOR DRINKS

HEY GUYS MY NEIGHBOR DRINKS HIMSELF INTO A RAGE AND THEN BEATS HIS WIFE AND TIES UP HIS CHILDREN, WHICH HE THEN PROCEEDS TO BEAT. WE NEED TO BAN ALCOHOL BECAUSE HE'LL NEVER STOP IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN.

antidrugs, fuushi

Wow. Pretty much you are the same puritanical guy that can't handle his shit, and by proxy of other people just like you , that nobody can handle their shit. There is a vast majority of people that can smoke a joint, or drink a beer... and put it down, as crazy as you might think it.
You're probably one for ultimate freedom, and you probably think that anybody that can legally own guns should. Well, let me put it this way. Even some legal gun owners are alcoholics and casual drug users. We are all human, and our judgement isn't the best. Just as many people might have one drink too many, or indulge in too many bong hits, do you think that their judgement with guns can be any better?
Of course, I'm just extrapolating, though I'm sure I'm pretty right on here, though YOUR ALL CAPS COPY DOES LEAD ME TO WONDER ABOUT YOUR COGNITIVE SOUNDNESS, THOUGH.

Perhaps an even easier

Perhaps an even easier argument to make against someone who is for pro-prohibition is to use driving. Do we insist everyone go to jail for minor traffic violations even though they most certainly lead to thousands of deaths per year (non-alcohol related roughly 20,000 - 30,000 per year)? No. We try to find more practical solutions to the fact that there are so many idiots with drivers licenses. The same goes for drugs. If some people are too stupid to use drugs responsibly that is their problem. If it effects their family or work there are many more practical, effective, and humane solutions that don't infringe on everyone else's rights. If they drive on those drugs and it makes them dangerous then of course there should be penalties. But until then its your mind your right. No society can call itself free otherwise.

Free the Plant and Ban 

Free the Plant and Ban  ALCOHOL

How about Free the

How about Free the Plant

Prohibition in all facets doesn't work bro.

GOP

The Republicans are just shooting themselves in the foot! They have completely lost their mind. No wait they are being paid off by big Parma, alcohol and tobacco companies and so on... They must take this stand. Oh and just ignore the Idiot that thinks prohibition is still the answer!

so many stupid people.

I was a republican, and this makes me so ashamed to say so. I am more independent now. Obama promised to defer to the states on their laws. Now in my home state of WA, there are raids shutting down the dispensaries. Plus other promises, So he's full of crap. But then on the other hand you have republicans, who insist on living in some bubble of stupidity when it comes to anything progressive. Scratch that, they knowingly are pawns to big (Name group here). Which I think is worse. Why cant we have a major group of people making up the common sense party? (I don't need answers, it's rhetorical.) P.S The closest Mr IVY league ever has been to anything IVY is the Poison IVY he uses for toilet paper.

republicans

Most people should know by now that the national and state level republican party is racist . I`m white , I can see the obvious . Can you ?

connection

Because there's no disinformation about drugs on the internet? Look, both sides of the debate have dumped metric ass loads of bullshit onto the net with regards to drugs and their potential side effects/curative properties. Most of the people in the world with an internet connection live in a country where drugs are still a major issue, and they're all dressing their opinions up as facts. viviana

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