Melissa Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Renewed Push for Marijuana Arrest Reform

Yesterday, Melissa issued the following statement in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s strong support of legislation that would end small-quantity marijuana arrests, calling for its passage and the passage of a minimum wage increase before considering pay hikes for legislators.

“I commend New York Governor Cuomo for urging the State Legislature to adopt what he calls ‘The People’s Agenda,’ which includes an end to unjust small-quantity marijuana arrests, before they consider a potential salary hike for legislators.

“I strongly support this principled act of leadership in the face of a hostile Republican State Senate which in the last session blocked legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view. This inaction has led to thousands more unjust stop-and-frisk arrests of young men of color when they are told to empty their pockets during stops. Enforcement of this policy costs the city an estimated $75 million each year.

“The new law would make marijuana possession merely a violation, like a traffic ticket, and not a crime that the police can arrest people for committing. Since there are currently over 50,000 annual stop-and-frisk arrests for small-time marijuana possession in NYC, this will dramatically reduce the unjust criminalization of our youth. Earlier this year, the New York City Council passed a resolution in support of this legislation, which I sponsored, and Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have voiced their support of these reforms. The Commissioner even issued a directive to officers intended to slow down the number of marijuana arrests. Still, it is essential to codify this policy change at the State level, and I thank Governor Cuomo for taking this issue so seriously.

“I am also very pleased that Governor Cuomo is renewing the push to raise the state’s minimum wage, a vitally important measure which will help working families remain in New York City and the state during times of increasing poverty and income disparity.”

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3 thoughts on “Melissa Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Renewed Push for Marijuana Arrest Reform

  1. Our youth are in trouble as it is: poverty, poor schools, absent fathers, non-existent role models, and negative peer pressure. They don’t need ridiculous, unfair misdemeanor convictions on their records. On the other hand, they should leave their pot at home since they know the cops don’t play fair. Cmon kids, wake up!

  2. Arrest and conviction for the mere possession o of samll amounts od marihuana also impacts the access of our youth to higher education by making them ineligible to apply for state and federl education assistanece programs.

  3. Pingback: New York: Governor Says He Won't Consider Pay Increases For Lawmakers Until Politicians Address Marijuana Reforms - NORML Tennessee

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