Melissa issued the following statement in response to the failure of New York State Senate Republicans to reach an agreement with Governor Cuomo and the Assembly on the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana in public view:
The New York Senate Republicans are doing what Republicans do best at the federal and local level—they are obstructing progress and paralyzing government. The Republican Conference in the State Senate is completely out of touch with our communities of color in New York City and because of their inaction, tens of thousands more of our young people of color will be arrested before the end of this year, saddling them with a criminal record. The Governor, our Mayor, the Police Commissioner, the City Council, five District Attorneys and criminal justice advocates are all on the same page here. Marijuana was decriminalized in 1977; all we are trying to do is close the ‘in public view’ loophole that is allowing thousands of unjust arrests of black and Latino youth in our communities.
Last week, the New York City Council overwhelmingly adopted a resolution sponsored by Melissa in support of the Governor’s proposal.