Is Pot Basically Legal in Brooklyn?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Mayor de Blasio says possessing small amounts of marijuana should not carry a criminal penalty. (MARTIN BERNETTI/Getty)

Oren Yaniv, crime and courts reporter for The New York Daily News, talks about the Brookyn D.A.'s decision to stop prosecutions of first-time low-level marijuana offenses (with exceptions).


Oren Yaniv

Comments [12]

Emily from NYC

I experienced the unfortunate side of this policy earlier when my Brooklyn neighbors began smoking pot laced with one thing that made me dizzy, gave me heart palpitations, and nosebleeds. It happened every single day in continuous cycles between 7:00pm and 12:00am, and the smell was so strong that even opening every window in the place (in 30 degree weather) did not help. Because of this pro-pot policy, the police were of no help whatsoever, and would not even knock on the neighbor's door. But why let these problems stand in the way of' harmless recreation'?

Jul. 11 2014 03:22 PM

This is some unfortunate art that accompanies this segment. To suggest that recreational (or medical, for that matter) marijuana is used by dirty scumbags really perpetuates a tired, tired stereotype. Why not just show a Phish crowd? Or how about something from Reefer Madness?

Jul. 10 2014 10:41 AM
Donald Diamond

Will the police arrest anyone if the DA will not prosecute? It seems as if the police narcotics squads will not need to be staffed as if prosecutions will occur and they can be assigned to areas where prosecutions will occur. Is it possible that the police will devote more manpower to crimes like spitting on the sidewalk?

Jul. 10 2014 09:55 AM
Fran from NY

Is alcohol consumption legal in Brooklyn? Everyone knows, or should know, that alcohol use/abuse often leads to a cascading effect of serious and often fatal health problems; horrific motor vehicles accidents many ending in disfigurements and death, not to mention domestic abuse. The effects of alcohol use/abuse are far more serious to the user and those who happen to be in his/her vicinity than the effects of recreational pot smoking. I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with this step, but let's be clear on two issues: 1.Minorites are not the only group of people using 'pot' yet they are disproportionately arrested, 2. law enforcement must advocate for consistent reactions to alcohol and pot use. Has no-one learned from alcohol prohibition? Reminder: it gave rise to the Mob that made millions on the illegal trade.

Jul. 10 2014 09:14 AM
Ace from Brooklyn

Governor Cuomo is so enmeshed with the multibillion dollar private incarceration industry that he will do all he can to prevent the legalization of the this much less harmful than alcohol recreational drug.

Jul. 10 2014 08:58 AM

The article does NOT say it's basically legal.

Jul. 10 2014 08:07 AM

Wow the WNYC email blast was irresponsible this morning. To state pot was legal in NYC, when the police will still arrest you for it and 4 out of 5 DAs will prosecute you for it, is just madness. Did you guys actually read the story you linked to?

Jul. 10 2014 07:03 AM
Jonathan from Queens

This is a a move in the right direction. I welcome the day when cannabis will be taxed and regulated, and legally available to adults, similarly to alcohol in the majority of states in the USA. Maybe it's not the greatest habit, but it is crazy to enmesh people in criminal proceedings of any kind for the use of a mildly mind altering plant, which most reasonable people would agree is less dangerous than alcohol. Luckily. with public attitudes changing, and initiative friendly states legalizing, even sclerotic, slow-moving states like New York will legalize, tax, and regulate adult use within the next 15 years. I'd like it to be sooner, but NY politics make it seem unlikely until we have neighboring states which start treating cannabis like alcohol. It's going to spread from New England states to Connecticut, and finally to straggling New York and Pennsylvania. It is heartening that the the Brooklyn DA feels it is OK politics to ease up on criminalizing cannabis position. I'd like to see the Mayor do the same. I am sure he'd get plenty of support. But for now, I applaud lower level elected officials who are closer to voters doing the right thing.

Jul. 09 2014 01:31 PM
Joe Fitzgerald

Oren Yaniv sounds uncannily like Father Guido Sarducci!

Jul. 09 2014 11:52 AM
Hern from nyv

I lived with a man who smoked this several times a day, he was a heavy user. this 21st century chemical/herb is not on par with the 20th century stuff.

Jul. 09 2014 11:29 AM
Janos from Williamsburg

Brian- the DA doesn't control the police department- once you've been arrested and thrown in jail for 24 hours, isn't the worst of it already done?

Jul. 09 2014 10:48 AM
Friedrika from Mannahatta

How about across the board decriminalization? We have a revolving door marijuana incarcination system in this country. What a waste of money that could be used to help with housing and fight real crimes in this city!

Jul. 09 2014 10:37 AM

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