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Progress in New York

There’s no doubt that the amount of attention being paid to marijuana arrests in New York is making a difference.

Bill would reduce charge for pot possession

ALBANY — In a rare show of bipartisanship and upstate-downstate agreement, freshman state Sen. Mark Grisanti is co-sponsoring a bill with Democratic Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries to reduce from a misdemeanor to a violation public possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The co-sponsors say many people, especially minorities in New York City, end up getting arrested for small amounts if they are stopped by a police officer and told to empty their pockets — at which point the possession becomes public.

“They are basically tricking them to show it,” said Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance, who added that the arrests cost taxpayers in New York City an estimated $75 million annually.

Cue police lobbyists claiming that this bill will make the job of police officers harder and make the streets more dangerous in 3-2-1…

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16 comments to Progress in New York

  • Ben

    Let’s hear Bloomberg chime in on this one.

  • DdC

    NYC Mayor Bloomberg Discusses Drug Legalization May 12 2011
    “The argument is that the only way you’re going to end the drug trade is to legalize drugs and take away the profit motive,” Bloomberg said. “And that the corruption funds enormous dislocations, like Mexico, where thousands or tens of thousands of people have been killed in the wars where the government tried to crack down on the drug dealers…”

  • tensity1

    What?!? No comments allowed at the timesunion.com?!? Well, I read this story already at their sister pub/website, Capitol Confidential blog (blog.timesunion.blah blah blah) as did some of you, since I saw comments by you miscreants.

    Well, I tried to comment, too, but it never appeared. I’m miffed! All I did was kindly point out that their site is owned by Hearst Newspapers/Hearst Communications, and that Mr. William Randolph Hearst kinda has a funky history about MJ. Oh, and I think I might have said something about Satan and Mr. Hearst in a yellow sundress and sexual relations and such, but really, come on now!

    They wouldn’t even let me clean it up and play nice and repost. Oh well, Isa stupid, but it sure felt good.

    Anyone else notice that site is owned by Hearst? How ironic they’re reporting on this story.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Pfft, try and post anything in the Daily Mail, they make the 1920s Hearst rags look like respectable news media. Take today’s Daily Mail article: “Jobs for Junkies: Newspaper sparks controversy after advertising for drug reviewer”

      That would be in Arizona, reviewing their medicinal cannabis dispensaries. For christ sake some hysterical woman in the comments is +41 after screeching,

      “When you have seen your child destroyed by cannabis you can comment on it. We have the continuing argument that it does not harm I would beg to differ, It can turn a highly intelligent young man into a madman , to a person who can wreck your house and not remember it, who can say things to his mother he would never say as a rule , to a person with 2 personalities, It is not only the ADDICTS life it destroys , and it breaks your heart”

      Where do people like that come from? How the heck do people get along without a working brain?

      • tintguy

        …“When you have seen your child destroyed by cannabis you can comment on it. We have the continuing argument that it does not harm I would beg to differ, It can turn a highly intelligent young man into a madman , to a person who can wreck your house and not remember it, who can say things to his mother he would never say as a rule , to a person with 2 personalities, It is not only the ADDICTS life it destroys , and it breaks your heart”…

        Translation: The precious future Einstien born unto me went wild from my lack of proper parenting and I cannot accept the blame. Weed is where I’m placing the blame so I can hide my shame behind a supposedly broken heart and all the screeching my mouth and 2 personalities can spew.

      • Windy

        Well, I’d say her kid is doing something other than cannabis if he’s “wrecking the house”.

      • tensity1

        I know what her kid is on–It’s called PUBERTY. Drugfree.org (or whatever the hell they are nowadays) should educate parents about the mind-crazing effects of hormones, especially testosterone; I’m sure more people are killed yearly and lives destroyed from pure unadulterated male aggression than from pot.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Well Pete, cue the policy wonks that are going to present the totally lousy statistics of addiction rates in NY vs the very impressive decrease in the rates of addiction in California. SAMHSA is our friend on this issue. Wow, California’s junkie cohort down 46.88% vs New York’s increase of 111% between 1996 and 2009. A total increase of people in “treatment” of 36% vs an increase in the population of ~7.5% vs California’s 9.81% decrease in the rate of people in “treatment”.

    New York with 19 million residents has 73% more people in treatment than California with a population of 36 million. The only real black spot is methamphetamine which is the single category where California is screwing the pooch. More than half of the people in the entire US in “treatment” for meth are Californians. I wonder if we can blame that on CVS? Yes, I mean the drugstore chain:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/14/business/main6958289.shtml

    The horrid meth numbers are included in the 9.81% decrease in the rate of Californians in “treatment”. But for that California would be on the verge of being almost bereft of addicts in “treatment”.

  • DdC

    Sheeeit, I’ve been thrown out of a lot better places than that…

    “Gloom, despair and agony on me-e!
    Deep dark depression, excessive misery-y!
    If it weren’t for bad press We’d have no press at all!
    Gloom, despair and agony on me-e-e!”

    “Remember, ‘Ganjawar’ spelled backwards is ‘Rawajnag.”

  • […] misdemeanor charge. “The law's outdated,” State Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Republican, …Progress in New YorkDrug WarRantGrisanti, Jeffries want to expand marijuana decriminalizationAlbany Times Union […]

  • vickyvampire

    It’s about time for some progress in NEW YORK.Let’s hear Bloomberg chime in Oh yeah baby lets see was not Bloomberg a democrat then he was a republican now he is an independent and he is a SMOKING Nazi Yeah New York a supposed progressive state with modern art that was cool in the eigthies had punk movement modern art CBGB’S CLUB WHAT HAPPENED NOW IT A BORING POLITICALLY CORRECT SANITIZED city.I know it was all mayor Rudy Guliani’s fault regardless New York should have had legal Pot and gay marriage by now it was and I was toLd all my life the greatest city ans state in America so progressive not like fly over midwest what happened HUH.
    Instead crazy California started the ball rolling, at least.

    • pedant

      VickyVampire: if you don’t learn and choose to use standard English grammar, you will continue to sound uneducated when you write comments on the internet. Comments like yours make drug reformers sound as if we’re all junkies.

      I’m sorry to be pedantic, but these sorts of rants support common misconceptions that are an extra, unnecessary hurdle for legalization.

  • @vickyvampire California is always the state that begins political trends in US history. Remember the 1904 San Francisco anti-opium laws were the first drug prohibition laws in US history – ten years before Representative Harrison’s 1914 Act began Federal drug prohibition, gay rights movement began in CA, as did the peace movement in the 1960’s. On the negative side, the authoritarian anti-counter-culture “Moral Majority” and the implementation of Milton Freidman’s economics theories also began there under Reagan’s governership in the 1970’s.

    New York will always have the distinction of being the most cosmopolitan city in America, but for successful political movements; they roll from West to East. One more indicator that us drug reformers are on the right side of history. If we need any, that is….

  • vickyvampire

    I know I’m just giving the Big apple a hard time some times they are a bit elitist in their attitude and comments over the years on a wide variety of subjects.
    Yeah I was born in California, Damn proud and Humbled the west is the best.HA HA.