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.
The arrests made have been apart of the controversial stop-and-frisk procedure the NYPD has used, although Police Commissioner Ray Kelly instructed officers not to arrest people caught with drugs on the street.
Bloomberg is opposed to Cuomo’s move, saying the arrests deter drug dealing and drug related violence.