In a statement today to go along with the release of a video with the Drug Policy Alliance, Melissa called for the State Senate to quickly pass marijuana decriminalization.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for endorsing marijuana decriminalization and pledging to close the “in public view” loophole which the NYPD has unjustly utilized to arrest tens of thousands of mostly black and Latino people each year after asking them to take marijuana out of their pocket during a stop-and-frisk. During the Council’s 2011 budget hearings, I questioned Police Commissioner Kelly regarding existing laws and concerns that police officers were not honoring the intent of the law. Senator Grisanti and Assemblyman Jeffries then proposed their legislation to decriminalize marijuana in public view. Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Jeffries, Senator Grisanti, and in particular the Drug Policy Alliance and VOCAL-NY deserve thanks for pushing this bill and I call on the State Senate to quickly pass it. This bill to decriminalize marijuana in public view is a step in the right direction and the City Council will be moving forward with a resolution in support of the change. We look forward to continuing to educate New York and close loopholes in the law that result in the unjust criminalization of our youth.”