Possession of small amounts of pot set to go legit in New York
Washington, June 5 (ANI): Public possession of small amounts of pot could soon be decriminalized, according to a proposal introduced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Speaking in the capital city of Albany, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly backed Cuomo's proposal to decriminalize public possession of small amount of marijuana, but said smoking dope would still be a crime.
Cuomo said that the proposal was made to correct a 'blatant inconsistency' in the law that treated the private possession of 25 grams or less of pot as a violation, with a maximum fine of 100 dollars, while the public display of marijuana led to misdemeanor charges.
"The problem is the law, and the solution is change the law," New York Daily News quoted Cuomo as saying.
The proposal, which could greatly impact stop-and-frisk arrests by the NYPD, has also been supported by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
"It supports our quality-of-life efforts, in that smoking it in public or burning it is still a misdemeanor, is still a crime," Kelly said.
Kelly said the legislation was consistent with an order he issued last year directing officers to issue violations instead of misdemeanor charges for small amounts of pot.uomo's proposal has been supported by all five New York City district attorneys.
Despite that directive, the NYPD reported more than 40,000 misdemeanor arrests for marijuana possession in 2011.
The vast majority of those arrested for marijuana possession, 82 percent, are black or Hispanic, administration officials said.
Cuomo's proposal is backed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, but opposed by the GOP-controlled Senate. (ANI)
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