New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is pushing to reduce the number of people arrested for marijuana in his state, a move opposed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I).
According to the New York Times Monday, Cuomo will ask the state legislature to change state law reducing the penalty for possessing 25 grams of marijuana, making it a violation instead of a misdemeanor. A violation, unlike a misdemeanor, is not a crime. Bloomberg is oppose to Cuomo’s move, although smoking marijuana in public would still be a misdemeanor.
“This proposal will bring long overdue consistency and fairness to New York State’s Penal Law and save thousands of New Yorkers, particularly minority youth, from the unnecessary and life-altering trauma of a criminal arrest and, in some cases, prosecution,” an administration official said in an e-mail.
Bloomberg is opposed to Cuomo’s move, saying the arrests deter drug dealing and drug related violence.
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.