NY Governor Cuomo Reaffirms Commitment to Marijuana Decriminalization

In his State of the State address, delivered this morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reaffirmed his commitment to reforming his state’s marijuana laws. The governor proposed decriminalizing the possession of 15 grams of marijuana in public view to a civil violation. Currently only possession of marijuana in private is decriminalized, possession in public view is still currently a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 with a maximum sentence of 90 days.

“These arrests stigmatize, they criminalize, they create a permanent record. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it must end and it must end now,” Governor Cuomo stated.

Last year, the Governor declared his support for a similar proposal, but was unable to gather significant support in the state legislature by the end of the year. NORML applauds Governor Cuomo’s commitment to the issue and we were glad to see him putting the topic front and center in a prominent speech.

You can view Governor Cuomo’s speech on C-SPAN here.

59 thoughts

  1. Isn’t this the idiot who wants to save us by outlawing guns??? It’s okay to smoke weed and lay around all day soaking up welfare, but I cannot legally own a firearm. What a typical liberal moron. Heil Hitler,,, er,,er,, Heil Cuomo

  2. @dogger69, that’s just the stereotypical behavior that’s not needed for this particular situation. I work hard, two jobs, i pay taxes and strive to be a pillar in my community, i. also smoke marijuana responsibly. I do not disagree to the fact that their are lazy people who abuse it, yet its no different then a lush or a chain smoker. Its the person not the product in these cases. To the gun laws, i think its completely unconstitutional to take away our right as Americans to bare arms. If i have to give up my pump or my M1911 it wont feel like my homeland, and thats putting it mildly. I do hope one day marijuana (a plant) discrimination comes to a close, and guns stay in my house and the trunk of my car… until its needed.

  3. This is what NYS needs: New York Initiative and Referendum Amendment (2013) (BILL NUMBER:S709)

    For an initiative or referendum measure to appear on a
    ballot, a petition setting forth the proposal must be filed with the
    State Board of Elections and be signed by electors at least equal in
    number to 5 percent of the votes cast for all candidates for governor
    at the last gubernatorial election. Such signatures must include at
    least 5,000 signatures from each of at least three-fifths of the
    State’s congressional districts.

    **The only way NYS legalization can happen. This way the citizens have a voice and we are not ruled over by “representatives”, e.g., NYS Republican Senators. NYS needs progress now to stay competitive, this would help the state in so many ways!**

  4. Mr Governor, Why not legalize it so the state can control and tax the sales. That way we can solve a few things. We can put some people to work reducing unemployment, Rent a number of empty stores through out the state putting money back into the economy, controling suppliers cutting out cartel involvement. To me the state, city and the people make out if we out and out make it legal, controled and tax it.
    So please consider making it legal.

  5. Governor Cuomo focus on legalizing marijuana shows his lack of ability to govern the State properly. How can you legalize something that is not FDA approved and can have any type of “junk” in it. Also he has not talked about how this will affect children in homes where drug use will than be okay. Not to mention all the negative side effects marijuana has on the body like causing depression; lung cancer (carbon dioxide), and anxiety attacks. Governor Cuomo has no integrity as a politician he is more invested in discussing “pot” than education. Why this commitment to this?

  6. Regarding Me’s post

    FDA approval means very little in terms of safety. Think of the class action law suits against pharma experimental drugs that end up harming people or causing birth defects.

    FDA approved Big Pharma drugs without effectiveness data

    And cannabis should never have been made illegal.

    Timothy Leary’s Supreme Court case made cannabis prohibition unenforceable. He argued that in order to get a Tax Stamp in order to “legally” grow or possess cannabis, the application required disclosing the amount you possess. This is self-incrimination and entrapment. Leary won.

    Then Nixon made up the harmful and unethical public policy called the war on drugs.

    I think it is a better demonstration of acting as an elected official to address issues that are at least possible to fix. What suggestions for improving education do you have? Email them to his office if you have a good idea to fix education in NY.

    I would say that the culture in the US does not value education as much as celebrity or wealth, and the education in the US compared to other industrialized countries is not great.

    Some cultivars or strains have been shown to improve depression, there is no link between lung cancer and cannabis, in fact, people who smoke cannabis, by burning it and inhaling it, have lower rates of lung cancer than people who smoke nothing at all.

    Some people can’t smoke cannabis, or convince themselves of this. Some people who use cannabis have emotional reaction patterns like anxiety attacks. These people, as Jamaicans say, “don’t have a a head for ganga.” No one said it’s for everybody. Alcohol is not either, but at least it’s regulated and thugs are not selling it on the street and killing to protect their turf or market.

    But the fed 260 billion/year budget for the drug war is plainly a failure and does more harm than good. And is the cause of organized crime (selling the drugs). $260 billion to 20+ drug war related federal agencies, though ineffective, that is, not worth keeping, a toiled for tax revenues.

    And NY already had laws on the books saying they would not frisk, or body search people, looking for items on their person, to punish them for having an item like a bag of dried flowers.

    Cannabis has been shown to improve depression

    Cuomo was also apologizing for the law enforcement of NY going back on their word about frisking people. Frisking is reminiscent of a police state, abuse of power and corrupt public policy, which cannabis prohibition is

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