Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pitch: Yes, we cannabis

Cannabis Health Science

World Seed Banks        AddThis Social Bookmark Button        Get this Widget


Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference 

at the Capitol on Monday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at the Capitol on Monday. While Nanny Bloomberg harshes our sugar buzz, cool-guy Gov. Cuomo is telling the cops to go easy on marijuana.

Excellent move, Dude.

Kidding aside, Cuomo’s plan to decriminalize public possession of small amounts of pot is the opposite of dopey. It’s smart policy and smart politics at the same time.

The fact that the NYPD arrests more than 50,000 people a year for doing something that practically everyone under the age of 60 has at least tried — and knows full well to be no more dangerous than alcohol, and probably less so — is beyond ridiculous.

Thousands of young people are being handcuffed, fingerprinted, held behind bars and given permanent criminal records for an activity also perpetrated by at least four U.S. Presidents, not to mention infamous hippies Newt Gingrich and Clarence Thomas.

Cuomo himself has acknowledged smoking marijuana “in my youth.” When asked during his first mayoral campaign if he had tried pot, Bloomberg said: “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.”

According to a new biography of President Obama by David Maraniss, the future leader of the free world and his friends made a point of closing the car windows when they toked up, so they could tilt their heads back and take “roof hits” when the joint was finished.

Yet none of these lawbreakers was caught. So none got turned down for a job or forfeited a student loan or, most tragically of all, lost custody of their children — all of which can and do happen to the mostly young, mostly black and brown New Yorkers swept up in the city’s modern-day reefer madness.

Compounding the injustice is the fact that New York supposedly decriminalized marijuana 35 years ago — when the Legislature downgraded private possession of up to 25 grams, or 7/8 of an ounce, to a mere violation, the equivalent of a traffic ticket.

Arresting people over pot “needlessly scars thousands of lives and wastes millions of dollars in law enforcement resources, while detracting from the prosecution of serious crime,” lawmakers declared at the time.

But that wise policy became collateral damage in the NYPD’s successful war for safe streets, as cops looked for any valid reason to confront and cuff people they suspected of crimes. Pot arrests went through the roof during the Giuliani years and stayed sky-high under Bloomberg — who has presided over more than 400,000 marijuana collars.
Clearly, in this case, the NYPD has taken numbers-driven enforcement too far.

Theoretically, the police are nabbing most of these people for possessing or smoking the dope in full public view, which is still a class B misdemeanor. In many, if not most, cases, however, the pot was harmlessly hidden from view until the owner was confronted during a stop-and-frisk — and an officer either searched the suspect or told him to empty his pockets.

No comments:

Post a Comment