GOP Opposition Snuffs Out NY Pot Proposal
Cuomo plan fails despite backing of Bloomberg, NYPD
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2012 11:29 PM CDT
Updated Jun 20, 2012 4:43 AM CDT
A violation if it's in your pocket, a crime if it's in public view.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

(Newser) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to reduce "stop and frisk" arrests by downgrading public possession of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation has gone up in smoke—at least for now. Cuomo has declared the plan, which was supported by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, dead because of stiff opposition from Republican state lawmakers, and the looming end of the legislative session, reports the New York Times. "Being able to just walk around with 10 joints in each ear, and it only be a violation, I think that’s wrong," groused Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

The state decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in 1977, but the steep rise in police stop and frisk busts in New York City over the last few years has led to large numbers of people being arrested because the searches put their pot on public view—which then makes possession a crime. "It's disappointing that the legislature can't put politics aside when justice is on the line," complained the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "Arresting and jailing tens of thousands of people each year for marijuana possession does not make New York safer. It drives young New Yorkers into the criminal justice system." Unless Cuomo calls a special session, the plan will now be on hold until the next legislative session begins in January.

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Jun 20, 2012 2:59 PM CDT
So they practically have criminalized smoking anywhere in N.Y.C. but want to decriminalize pot. What f****ing a**holes. Bloomy YOU ARE a hypocrite and so are the rest of all these jerks running N.Y. city and state.
Jun 20, 2012 1:10 PM CDT
As a conservative and a GOP voter - I must say they are wrong. Typical politicians
Jun 20, 2012 10:26 AM CDT
"Being able to just walk around with 10 joints in each ear, and it only be a violation, I think that’s wrong," First off, even if my ears could hold that without losing any, I would never do this. It's like opening a pack of gum; everyone will want to bum a piece off you. Second, just what decade does he think this is? People as whole haven't put cigs or joints behind their ears or rolled in their shirt sleeves in years and when they did it sure wasn't the whole pack stuck in the ear. I think someone is just a little out touch with the situation they are trying to regulate. Learn a little bit of facts and I might listen to your opinion on what you think I should or should not be able to do in that situation. Right now you are just an old scared man telling me what I can do based on your (lack of) knowledge.