Cuomo Seeks To Lower Charge For Public Possession Of Marijuana

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has proposed “reducing the penalty for public possession of small amounts of marijuana” from a misdemeanor to a violation. Under the measure, which still has to be approved by the legislature, individuals caught with under 25 grams of marijuana could face a fine of up to $100, but woud avoid stop-and-frisk searches and criminal charges. State law already treats private possession of marijuana in such a manner. “There’s a blatant inconsistency,” Cuomo said on Monday. “If you possess marijuana privately, it’s a violation. If you show it in public, it’s a crime.” Eighty-two percent of New Yorkers arrested from stop and frisks were either black or Hispanic.