Council Members Push to De-Criminalize Marijuana in Public View

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some City Council members are calling for Albany to pass a bill that would de-criminalize having small amounts of marijuana in public view.

Melissa Mark Viverito, who represents East Harlem, said the arrests are hurting large numbers of young black and Latino men at a time when Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a push to help them through a city initiative aimed at creating jobs and bolstering the quality of life.

"It's criminalizing people, and it's making it much more difficult for our young people to get jobs, for our young people to possibly get housing, et cetera," she said. "So it really is counterproductive to what it is that he is saying he wants to do."

Currently, possessing a small amount of marijuana is not a crime if it's hidden from public view. WNYC reported earlier this year that young men who face criminal charges may have been the victims of illegal searches where police officers pulled marijuana out of their clothing.

This month, the mayor announced a $130 million Young Men's Initiative intended to boost support programs for Black and Latino men.


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Comments [1]

ConservativeChristian from Deep South

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.
If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let's put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. Let's let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.
Here's one way that IT IS REALLY WORKING: Arresting the criminals and collecting a fee from registered growers (and bringing in thousands of dollars to support the county budget); what a great plan! This is the way to build a better America!
The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. You can email your Congressperson and Senators at to discuss HR 2306.
And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

Aug. 18 2011 01:13 PM

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