New York state is making a big move towards decriminalizing marijuana.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has now backed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal that would reduce the penalties for public possession of small amounts of marijuana. And yes, that does still mean no smoking on the street. Under Governor Cuomo's plan, all possession of small amounts of marijuana, public or private, would only be subject to a fine.
"Young person has small amount of marijuana in their pocket and that's a violation that's a fine. Police officer said turn out your pocket and now it's a crime," Cuomo explained on Monday. "Who could defend against that?"
The proposal was made in an effort to lower the number of marijuana-related arrests.
According to The New York Times, the NYPD made roughly 50,000 arrests last year over possession of marijuana. The current stop-and-frisk policy allows police to stop and search anyone who they deem “suspicious.” Most of the people stopped, however, are Hispanic or black, prompting many to criticize the policy as a means to target minorities.