Lemon Kush Marijuana Image Credit: Eggrole CC

NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo Signs Marijuana Decrim Order

It’s official. New York State has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, as of today. Weed aficionados everywhere around the state are celebrating, as possession of up to two ounces is no longer punishable by arrest. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal of legalization of cannabis did not happen, however, under the new legislation, possession of less than one ounce will garner a fine of $50, while possession of one to two ounces has a maximum fine of $200. This law takes effect in thirty days.

Besides these changes, Gov. Cuomo’s new decree (PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR NY State Senate Bill S6579A!) enables those previously convicted in the state for possession of small amounts of “mary jane” to have their records expunged. NY state lawmakers did consider full legalization of marijuana for “recreational” use, however, the fine print was not agreed upon in time, so that piece of legislation was not passed in time. This new law takes aim at what Gov. Cuomo and other billed as unfair to minorities, impacting people of color disproportionately.

Lemon Kush Marijuana Image Credit: Eggrole CC

Lemon Kush Marijuana Image Credit: Eggrole CC

“Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and today we are ending this injustice once and for all,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By providing individuals who have suffered the consequences of an unfair marijuana conviction with a path to have their records expunged and by reducing draconian penalties, we are taking a critical step forward in addressing a broken and discriminatory criminal justice process.”

New York City already had a similar law on the books for quite some time, unbeknownst to most. Since 1977, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana was reduced to an infraction netting a $100 fine. Even so, marijuana in public view remained a misdemeanor. As the law stood, over 500,000 people weer arrested for possessing marijuana in public view between the years of 1997 and 2010. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio did order the NYPD to cease such arrests back in 2016, instead requesting that officers hand out summonses to offenders found smoking cannabis in public spaces.

During the much-debated “stop-and-frisk” policy of the NYPD, hidden marijuana that was found during the procedure, was deemed to be in public view, once it was visible to the officer(s) conducting the search.

Just as with changes in state law, this change in city police policy was meant to address the far higher rates of arrest of black people. In Manhattan, for example, persons of color were arrested at a rate that was a whopping fifteen times higher than white folks. The other clear advantage to this is freeing vital police resources to address more important criminal issues. Proponents of “broken windows” policy disagree; in their thinking, marijuana use, along with other petty infractions, may be a harbinger of far more devastating crimes.

Marijuana remains a Schedule I prohibited drug under Federal Law, although many states and municipalities have decriminalized marijuana, with some choosing to fully legalize recreational the drug. Even if New York passes the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Bill, this will still be the case, as the Federal Government has yet to act in changing marjiuana’s classification, keeping it alongside heroin as Schedule I, meaning there is no legitimate medical use for the substance, with a high potential for abuse, let alone recreational use. In comparison, fentanyl and cocaine remain Schedule II, oddly enough.

Author: Blaine Wise

15 Comments

  • Avatar Righeous Woman says:

    how is this a good thing again?

  • Finally!!!!!!!! About time some lawmaker did something about this.

    Still…..not enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Avatar A Concerned Citizen says:

    Great. This is just what we need. Now the dope dealers can parade around selling their drugs without having to worry about getting arrrested. Good move, mayor.

  • Avatar BlueBlood712 says:

    No comments yet? How can this be? Well,I’ll be the first, then.

    This is a terrible idea, plain and simple. Drugs are drugs.

    Illegal is Illegal. What do you people not understand?

    If you want to smoke marihuana, change the laws first!

    • Avatar Macha says:

      Illegal is illegal? Get. A. Brain.

      Prohibition made alcohol illegal. So I guess we should make a citizen’s arrest next time you’re drinking your scotch, BlueBlood?

      We all know MJ prohibition is a load of crap.

      Lemme guess: You’re “BlueBlood” name has NOTHING to do with being royalty, and everything to do with loyalty to….let’s rack our brains….

      Anyone have any guesses?

      Go fight some real crime…oh wait…you think MJ and heroine are the same.

      Very informed citizen.

  • *your

    shows something when you can’t even spell.

    put the bong down. take a deep breath.

    the paranoia will end very soon, don’t worry.

    • Avatar T.McCabe says:

      The issue with these liberals is that they want everything their way. And when it doesn’t work out they tantrum and kick and scream like a child. From one thing to the next they act the same way. Today they are talking about pot and tomorrow it will be something else. They are so confused that they don’t even realize that their bleeding hearts make no sense. Just say no to drug. Just say no to illegals. Just say no to backing criminals. They want a city that they can p*** and s*** where ever they feel it is ok then light a joint to boot. What is next? Right they want to shoot heroin legally too. Where does it stop? Maybe with no penalty for shoplifting or theft? Or maybe that isn’t far enough for them. It all starts with pot and broken windows works.

  • Avatar T.McCabe says:

    Oh and let’s not forget how many lives pot takes every day. The liberals want to pretend this is not true but trust me nothing is farther from the truth than their lies that it is safe. Smoking anything will kill you eventually. Also car accidents. Why do you think we have so many traffic fatalities? Don’t think for a second that pot isn’t involved. Liberals get so stoned they can’t drive because their reaction time is worse than with a drink or two. Pot kills. Plain and simple facts don’t lie. Stop drinking the liberal Cool Aid and give it some thought.

    • Avatar SmokingTheMJSince77 says:

      Firstly, I’m no liberal and I support MJ legalization. That’s FULL legalization, not some fake “decrim” effort.

      Secondly, I voted for Reagan,Bush I, Bush II, and Trump.

      I’m probably older than most of the commenters on here, and definitely older than the article’s author.

      Trust me, MJ has been a part of life for decades now.

      Stop spewing BS and fear. It’s old and makes no sense.

      What’s the real agenda here?

      “Liberals get so stoned they can’t drive because their reaction time is worse than with a drink or two.”

      I hope you’re not in public service, because you’re either being fed pure 110 octane BS, or you are just spewing it yourself.

      I’ve smoked MJ almost once a week since 1979. And, I never was arrested, never was fired from a job, have a wife, kids, grandkids, and also a great career I’ve retired from now three years ago.

      Let a life. I have to wonder if maybe the liberals are right about your motive. Trust me, I am no fan of Deblasio but really, the nonsense on here is sickening.

      “Smoking anything will kill you eventually. Also car accidents.”

      What does this even mean? I think you need a psychiatric evaluation. I just pray you don’t work with the public in ANY capacity.

  • Avatar Confused More Than You Could Know says:

    How, may I ask, does one go about purchasing “decriminalized” marijuana without committing a crime? What a strange concept, this decriminalization. It’s either legal – or it isn’t.

    This is vexing and makes no sense.

    Imagine decriminalizing driving a car: You can drive (if no one sees you), but if someone sees you driving in public, it’s only a fine, because all non-illegal things get you a fine, right?

    But in order to buy the car, you need to commit a crime.

    Not pro-weed. Just wondering what message this sends to younger people.

    Laws need to be clear. This is the opposite.

  • Avatar StatenIslander.org_Editor says:

    “Just wondering what message this sends to younger people.

    Laws need to be clear. This is the opposite.”

    Excellent points, Confused.

  • Recreational marijuana legalization tied to decline in teens using pot, study says

    So stop the lying

  • Avatar addictionkoup says:

    Imagine if they had just decriminalized alcohol? Al Capone would have been celebrating with a gin and tonic. This is ludicrous. Make this stuff legal and redirect resources to fighting REAL crime.

  • Avatar DECRIMINALIZATION IS A MISNOMER says:

    DECRIMINALIZATION IS A MISNOMER

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