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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:50 AM

Gov. Cuomo Calls for Reform: Marijuana Arrests That 'Stigmatize and Criminalize...Must End Now'

Source: Huffington Post

In his State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a passionate call to reform New York's marijuana possession laws in order to reduce the enormous number of unlawful, biased, and costly arrests. The governor noted the discrepancy in the law between public and private possession of marijuana, and proposed standardizing the penalties for possession of small amounts. After citing the harmful outcomes of these arrests -- like racial disparities, stigma from criminalization, and fiscal waste -- the governor made a forceful call for immediate reform: "It's not fair, it's not right. It must end, and it must end now."

Possession of marijuana is the leading arrest in New York City today -- but it's not supposed to be this way. In 1977, New York State removed criminal penalties for private possession of marijuana, and made possession in public view a misdemeanor. The 1977 Legislature made its intent clear:

"The legislature finds that arrests, criminal prosecutions, and criminal penalties are inappropriate for people who possess small quantities of marihuana (sic) for personal use. Every year, this process needlessly scars thousands of lives and wastes millions of dollars in law enforcement resources, while detracting from the prosecution of serious crime."

Despite -- or in spite of -- the legislative intent, more than 600,000 people have been arrested for marijuana possession during the last 15 years in New York. Most of these arrest occur in the Big Apple: more than 50,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2011 alone. Most of these arrests are unconstitutional -- people possessing marijuana in their pocket or bag are instead charged and arrested for possession in public view. Nearly 85 percent of those arrested are black and Latino, mostly young men, even though government data shows that young whites use marijuana at higher rates. This creates, essentially, a two-tier legal system where the law is applied differently to different groups of people depending on their race. As if the human costs weren't already bad enough, this practice costs taxpayers at least $75 million a year. It's a classic case of drug war insanity.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabriel-sayegh/governor-cuomo-marijuana-reform_b_2443694.html

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Gov. Cuomo Calls for Reform: Marijuana Arrests That 'Stigmatize and Criminalize...Must End Now' (Original post)
bananas Jan 2013 OP
bananas Jan 2013 #1
SunSeeker Jan 2013 #2
99th_Monkey Jan 2013 #18
stevenmitchell Jan 2013 #23
Proletariatprincess Jan 2013 #3
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #7
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #4
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #8
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #11
RoccoR5955 Jan 2013 #16
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #5
Cha Jan 2013 #6
Kablooie Jan 2013 #9
truedelphi Jan 2013 #12
Warren Stupidity Jan 2013 #14
Myrina Jan 2013 #22
stevenmitchell Jan 2013 #25
plasticcraft1 Jan 2013 #10
Warren Stupidity Jan 2013 #13
dotymed Jan 2013 #15
TeamPooka Jan 2013 #17
DonCoquixote Jan 2013 #19
bobclark86 Jan 2013 #21
stevenmitchell Jan 2013 #24
bobclark86 Jan 2013 #20

Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:10 AM

1. Full two-hour video at state website

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:21 AM

2. Dude must be running for President in 2016.

Saying stuff like that is the kinda thing that will get you elected.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:11 PM

18. It certainly worked for Obama - TWICE

2008 interview: "won't be using DoJ resources to circumvent
state med. Mj laws" as that would be wasting DoJ resources
better spent dealing with REAL criminals and terrorists.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:03 PM

23. Ya think

That and doing nothing will at least not leave people alienated towards you. New York is rapidly losing jobs with the downsizing of the U.S. banking industry - which has been its primary industry for the last 20-30 years - but Andrew Cuomo, like his father Mario, have a different set of priorities. Regardless, of what the Cuomo family believes, Welfare is not an economic growth plan. One can tell how deeply involved the governor is in the future direction of New York. Everyone should get stoned until they realize they have nothing to eat and an epidemic of munchies breaks out... but we still have nothing to eat and now we are beset with the munchies...

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:27 AM

3. No criminal penalties since 1977?

Why have so many been arrested since then? I don't understand. Is law enforcement in the Big Apple out of control? Do cops make or ignore the laws at will? How did this come to happen and why has it been going on so long?
It is way way past time to resolve this racist outrage. I wish all those responsible for this insanity could be held accountable but I know that is beyond reasonable expectation. The very least that can be done is to stop this insanity immediately and forever.

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Response to Proletariatprincess (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:57 AM

7. See post number 4...

it is all about race.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:36 AM

4. Fucking NYPD made New York City the marijuana arrest capital of the world...

...even when it was decriminalized. And, of course, 85% were young people of color, mostly young men.

Who controls the NYPD? Nobody?

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:57 AM

8. +1000. nt

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:26 AM

11. The buck stops at Mayor Bloomberg's desk. Same with 'stop and frisk'. n/t

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:42 PM

16. They do it by making folks empty their pockets

When they take the weed out, it's in public view, so it's now a misdemeanor.
It's high time they took this garbage off of the books.
There are even NYC cops who go after folks for weed, after being told not to.
NYPD is Kelly's Gulag. Blame him. He's the one who should be fired.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:37 AM

5. This wouldn't have been allowed to happen if it was white people on the Upper West Side.

Glad to see Cuomo's trying to put an end to it.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:49 AM

6. Good!

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:07 AM

9. I get a strong feeling that sometime within the next 4 years pot will be legalized.

And, I hope, controls on gun violence will be implemented.

These are all signs that the worm is truly turning and the country is shifting back to the left. When it does, it will stay there for a long, long time.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:43 AM

12. Except that marijuana legalization is not a RW vs LW issue.

You have plenty of RW ex-sheriffs saying they would like to see it become legal, or at least de-criminalized, so a local police force could handle real criminals and not grandmothers smoking pot for the relief it gives their MS symptoms. And then supposed Democrats are saying they want it considered "a public health issue" and they refuse to back down on prosecuting people for it, even in states where voters have said otherwise.

Just in the past few days, a man who helped ensure that many Central Valley Californians could use pot the way that we state voters determined was given a ten year sentence! All for his running a medical marijuana dispensary.

Meanwhile Big Financial Giant HSBC doesn't have a single official jailed for helping the state of Iran, and entire drug cartels, launder money!

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:32 AM

14. It could become one. All it takes is an opportunistic leader to realize this is a winning issue.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:04 PM

22. ... or a big pharma or tobacco corp

... to patent the chemical makeup or monopolize the market & put the squeeze on some elected officials to "open up the market" ...

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:24 PM

25. marijuana legalization is probably not a RW vs LW issue - as such

"Marijuana legalization is not a RW vs LW issue", as such, but it has always been an "age" issue. I am 55 and people older than me since I was in high school have always castigated me the strongest. At the time of my high school years and even later, most people my age were either indifferent or 420-friendly (if not actual consumers). Now polls indicate a 50-50 split in opinions on its legalization, but that is largely because the elderly who were brought up in and shaped by the "Reefer Madness" era and all of the anti-consumption publicity of the 1930s, 1940s & 1950s have started to die off, to put it harshly. And younger people coming up, who have not been submerged in the propaganda associated with it, are much more liberal about its acceptability. As an indication of this trend changing, when I was in high school in the 1970s and they did public polls, those in favor only constituted 20-25 % of the population. In some polls, it was even less, probably dependent upon the participant ages represented in the polls. So I think it has always been much more an issue of demographics than of political-orientation.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:29 AM

10. Spam deleted by Vanje (MIR Team)

 

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:31 AM

13. The winds of change ..... Nt.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:02 PM

15. As I understand it,

the police in N.Y. "stop and frisk" mainly minorities, when they empty purses or pockets, then the pot is in "public view", and therefore a criminal offense....wow.
All the shit happening in N.Y and this is what the cops do. I guess it keeps them safer than chasing real criminals. It probably allows them to kill time while they are working, many are bribed not to bother the real criminals... Serpico...

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:59 PM

17. Prohibition is a failed public polcy...again nt

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:05 PM

19. I hate to be cynical

But I think that is Andy tuning up his vocal chords for the 2016 opera. A lot of people would call him Messiah if he draped himself in the Green 420 flag.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:36 AM

21. I'd vote for him.

He's not my favorite (I don't agree with everything he does), but he's got an excellent track record and approval rating in NY (as both AG and governor), he's passionate and Republicans hate him. Yup, sounds like a good candidate to me

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:05 PM

24. Probably true

It may be the only thing we have at that point... 420 that is...

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:34 AM

20. Upstate "Bible Belt" Republicans are going to have a shit-fit...

and let them .

Interestingly enough, I have one of the worst allergies a liberal ex-college student can have, so this won't affect me one way or the other.

Then again, since this does mostly affect minorities, I'm surprised it's getting any traction at all. Nobody in NY seems to care about anything unless it affects white people. Meth, on the other hand, seems to be an all-cracker problem in my area. Naturally, the media is all over it .

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