CNN contributor: N.Y. police trick marijuana users into getting arrested

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, June 4, 2012 20:46 EDT
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CNN legal contributor Paul Callan explained on Monday how police in New York were tricking marijuana users into getting themselves arrested.

Under current New York law, individuals in private possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana only face a finable violation. But if the same amount of marijuana is open to public view, the individual can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.

“What they were doing was — it is legal to have it in your pocket, so they would frisk you and say, ‘take out your pockets’ and then you’d have the marijuana in your hand, and they’d say, ‘well, you’re publicly displaying the marijuana, you’re under arrest,’” Callan explained.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday proposed eliminating the loophole by decriminalizing possession of marijuana in public view, saying the proposed law would “save thousands of New Yorkers, who are disproportionately Black and Hispanic youth, from unnecessary misdemeanor charges.” Burning marijuana in a public place would still remain a misdemeanor.

“If New York does it, that sets an enormous precedent for other states to go along and consider it,” Callan said.

The New York City Police Department, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and others have already endorsed Cuomo’s proposal.

Watch video, via MoxNews.com, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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