Scott D. Levy

We find it insane that New Yorkers still get charged with little marijuana offences. The money spent and the lives ruined is horrible. Read below the news story that NORML sent us. We applaud Gov. Andrew Coumo for fighting this injustice. We knew when we elected him, that he was fair and understanding just like his parents. Having met just about the whore family, the saying "The apple does not fall far from the tree" rings true here.


Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo has endorsed a legislative effort to equalize marijuana possession penalties, regardless of whether the cannabis is possessed in private or in public view. Governor Cuomo announced his support at a press conference on Monday. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly are also backing the effort.

Under state law, the private possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is a non-criminal civil citation, punishable by a $100 fine. By contrast, the possession of any amount of cannabis in public view is a criminal misdemeanor [NY State Penal Law 221.10].

In 2011, New York City law enforcement spent $75 million arresting approximately 50,000 minor marijuana offenders under Penal Law 221.10. Many of these offenders had marijuana on their person, and only revealed the cannabis publicly after being ordered by police to empty their pockets during 'stop-and-frisk' searches. According to the Governor's office, 94 percent of arrests for small amounts of marijuana in the state are in New York City. Over 85 percent of those charged were either African American or Latino.

Governor Cuomo said that the present law is "incongruous" and "disproportionately" effects black and Hispanic youth.

Pending bipartisan legislation - Senate Bill 5187 and Assembly Bill 7620 - would equalize minor marijuana possession penalties to a non-criminal, fine-only offense. According to the Associated Press, Cuomo's proposal differs slightly from these measures because it would retain criminal misdemeanor penalties for cannabis smoking in public.

State lawmakers are expected to be in session for three more weeks.

Last week a coalition of advocacy groups, including and the Drug Policy Alliance, launched an online advocacy campaign featuring video testimonials from people who the campaign says have been illegally searched or falsely charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession in New York City.

For more information or to view the video testimonials, please visit HERE