New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he is in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal that would help lessen the number of arrests for minor marijuana-related offenses throughout the state.
Gov. Cuomo wants to decriminalize minor marijuana possession in public-view. The fact that having marijuana in plain view is currently an arrest-worthy offense has been a point of contention for some in New York. It has been insinuated that police frequently trick people into emptying their pockets or bringing their marijuana out into the open, which then leads them to be arrested and jailed. This “stop and frisk” method has become more common under the Bloomberg administration, and costs the city and state thousands.
In the past, Mayor Bloomberg had supported such arrests because he believed that they led to a decrease in more serious crimes. However, the Mayor has now changed his stance, stating that Cuomo’s proposal “strikes the right balance” because it would still make it illegal for people to smoke marijuana in public places.
Governor Cuomo is set to hold a press conference at the Capitol today to announce his plans to work to change the current law. According to administration officials, the Governor is looking to make marijuana possession of 25 grams or less in public view a violation. This would be a fineable offense, rather than a misdemeanor which could lead to jail time.
Mayor Bloomberg stated, “We look forward to working with legislative leaders to help pass a bill before the end of session.” The legislative session in Albany is set to finish in only three weeks, which means that New York residents could be seeing changes to marijuana laws in the very near future.