Today at a press conference in Manhattan, state Senator Liz Krueger revealed a plan to legalize and tax marijuana in the state of New York. Making weed totally chill in the eyes of the law has long been a focus of democrats in the state — including Governor Andrew Cuomo — but the New York's left currently has nothing concrete to show for their efforts.
The law concerning possession of a small amount of marijuana has not been updated in New York since 1977, which is a completely insane fact when you consider the public's shifting views on pot legalization. New York's state assembly passed two bills earlier this year regarding weed, but neither was moved forward by the state's senate. One would've legalized marijuana for medicinal use, while the other would've allowed for the possession of minor amounts of pot. As it stands now, New York is currently to the right of, uh, Chris Christie.
Any measure to legalize marijuana in the state of New York is also in an entire different discussion thanks to New York City's clinging to the evils of stop and frisk. That policy is credited with a rapid increase in the number of black and Latino residents being arrested for pot possession, which makes incoming mayor Bill De Blasio's appointment of Bill Bratton — who is an open supporter of stop and frisk — concerning at best.
At a recent tribute to Nelson Mandela, Bratton told the predominantly black audience that he promised that the NYPD would be "respectful" and "practice what Mandela preached." In Los Angeles, where Bratton last served as commissioner, that apparently meant an increase in non-lethal force in black communities, so Bratton might want to be a bit more cautious with his invocations.