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