New York Gov. Cuomo’s new marijuana proposal, made today in the state legislature, is drawing a lot of attention after significant and troubling disparity’s in New York City’s stop-and-frisk program garnered negative national attention.
Perhaps Cuomo’s marijuana policy changes are a last-ditch effort at keeping young people from engaging in a mass exodus from this overpriced and overregulated state, but the move is one that many feel is a long time coming, particularly for those who live in or near the city and are subject to the stop-and-frisk laws.
In a statement Cuomo made today regarding marijuana policy, the governor explained that decriminalizing small amounts of dope (25 grams, or just under an ounce) is something he feels will prevent the excessive and long-term effects of a marijuana bust in one’s youth, and says that the people of New York would be better served by more rational, reasonable marijuana policy:
“Today’s announcement is about creating fairness and consistency in our laws since there is a blatant inconsistency in the way we deal with small amounts of marijuana possession.”
Gov. Cuomo continued:
“This is an issue that disproportionately affects young people- they wind up with a permanent stain on their record for something that would otherwise be a violation. The charge makes it more difficult for them to find a job.”
Cuomo even went so far as to acknowledge that when small amounts of weed are punishable by more severe charges and penalties, the system tends to shake out in a racially disproportionate way due perhaps to stop-and-frisk laws:
“Together, we are making New York fairer and safer, and ensuring that every New Yorker has access to justice system that doesn’t discriminate based on age or color.”
Under Cuomo’s proposed marijuana policy changes, it would still be illegal to smoke pot in public- and as always, it is a terrible idea to purchase it in Washington Square Park.