New York May Move Towards Possession Decriminalization Soon
New York Governor Supports Less Rigid Marijuana Legislation – New York State legalized medical marijuana in 2014, with one of the most regulated programs in the country. The state has recently amended their regulations that will make medical marijuana more accessible to patients throughout the state, even with those changes.
Even with the neighboring state of Massachusetts implements legalization over the next year and a half – New York has aways to go towards decriminalization. There is hope though, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed statewide decriminalization to the state’s lawmakers.
“Recreational users of marijuana pose little to no threat to public safety. The unnecessary arrest of these individuals can have devastating economic and social effects on their lives,” Cuomo’s office wrote in its 383-page “State of the State” book that introduced the proposal.
Marijuana Regulation Cost In New York City
In New York City alone, $75 million was spent on marijuana-related arrests 90%, for possession alone.
Current state law makes first-time marijuana possession offenses a ticketed offense, similar to that of a traffic ticket; The governor wants to extend the ticketing procedure to all possession charges.
“There should be a step two to this,” Steve Chassman from the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says. “What are we doing around community education and prevention around marijuana? Are there moneys going to be allotted for school-based education around the dangers of marijuana?”
Chassman wants to utilize the funding that’s been wasted on frivolous arrests to go to marijuana prevention and education programs, which is not an uncommon position. Even in states with legal cannabis there are prevention campaigns aimed at those under the age of 21.