Marijuana Reform Bill Fails in New York

Two weeks ago, I noted that the Republican leader of New York's Senate, Dean Skelos, had some qualms about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to decriminalize "public display" of marijuana. Under the legislation backed by Cuomo, which was aimed at curtailing bogus pot busts in which New York City cops convert a citable offense into a misdemeanor by instructing people they stop to empty their pockets, public pot smokers would still have been subject to arrest. Skelos nevertheless worried about scofflaws offending bystanders by carrying "10 joints in each ear." I swear, that's what he said. Somehow backers of this long-overdue reform were not able to satisfactorily address Skelos' outlandish fears, even though he concedes that police should not be manufacturing misdemeanors by tricking people into publicly displaying their marijuana and even though New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (who heretofore had defended the city's illegal crackdown on pot smokers) supported the change, which also was backed by the Democratic leadership of the state Assembly and by the district attorneys of New York City's five boroughs. The current legislative session ends today, and the Senate has not taken up the bill. Cuomo blames the  "ultra-conservative side" of the Republican Party for blocking this attempt to stop police from flouting the marijuana decriminalization law that the state legislature approved in 1977. Don't conservatives believe in the rule of law?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Cuomo blames the "ultra-conservative side" of the Republican Party for blocking this attempt to stop police from flouting the marijuana decriminalization law that the state legislature approved in 1977.

    Yes, it's the fault of the tiny ultra-conservative wing of what is very much the minority party in New York when the majority party fails to do something.

  • ||

    Whoops, the Rs hold a slight edge in the NY state Senate:

    Cuomo blames the "ultra-conservative side" of the Republican Party for blocking this attempt to stop police from flouting the marijuana decriminalization law that the state legislature approved in 1977.

    Still, no way the "ultra-conservative" wing calls the shots.

  • ||

    Fucking preview:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....egislature approved in 1977.

  • ||

  • ||

    I am quite the 'tard before I get coffee in me in the morning. And yes, still morning here in Hawaii. :D

  • ||

    Don't fall into the sunk-cost fallacy. Just cut your losses on this thread and try again on the next one : )

  • ||

    How do you feel about the looks of the Hawaii State Capitol?

  • ||

    The capitol looks OK, except for the scum-filled pond representing the ocean that ought to be filled in with dirt and planted with blue or aqua-colored flowers.

    The volcano look isn't very functional -- high A/C costs and a lot of wasted space -- but it does look reasonably cool.

  • deified||

    If I lived in Hawaii, I wouldn't give a shit about anything.

  • R C Dean||

    Needs more "haole". Or "brah".

  • Paul.||

    Why would anyone in New York be displaying any marijuana? Isn't public smoking damn near illegal?

  • SugarFree||

    Not outside. I see more people smoking in public in NYC in a single day than I will in a month in Kentucky.

  • ||

    You can't smoke in the public parks. There is a lot of "outside" in NYC that isn't park. In fact, most of it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What's your definition of public?

    Outside? Off one's private property?

    I've only seen people smoking in Kentucky in "public" (right outside of a concert venue) a handful of times. Never in the street or openly on campus or anything like that.

    Outside? All the fucking time. Every day, in fact.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm talking about just walking along the sidewalks. And in no matter what part of town.

    The only place I see NYC levels amount of smoking on public property is that corner right off the UK medical campus on Nicholasville Rd. at Hospital Dr. There's usually 20 or so smoker's there, right outside the non-smoking zone.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    AH. Smoking.

    I was thinking smoking weed.

    You're right. In Fayette Co. ,ost of the smoking I see is in cars, private property, or spots where smokers must congregate because they've been herded there (like right outside hospitals). Very seldomly do I see people smoking anywhere outside of those areas.

    Jessamine Co things are a bit different. I, for one, know that I I'd like for every smoker in the state to invade the Ichthus festival so that infernal noise will cease, even if only temporarily.

    OT: If you ever have the opportunity to buy a house, no matter how nice, if you discover that the largest Christian music festival in the world plays on a piece of land immediately adjacent to your property, run as fast as you can. I'm about to go insane. And it's only the 2nd day (of 4). Thank Zod I'm leaving on Saturday afternoon and will miss the final (and loudest) 12 hours of it.

  • SugarFree||

    If "Jesus Loves You" is such a simple message, why does it take 500 songs to get it across?

  • ||

    I need you in my life, Jesus

    I can't live without you, Jesus

    And I just want to feel you deep inside me, Jesus

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Don't know.

    But the existence of the festival in my fucking backyard is proof of 1 of 2 things: that there is no god, or if there is one, he fucking hates me.

    The only positive (which is really more of a lack of a negative), is that despite having direct access to my property from the festival grounds, no one ever crosses that line. My neighbor once told me that the worst he's seen in years and years of living here is that one morning one of his horses had braids in her mane, and another time there was a guy pissing on his tree. If that's the worst there is (aside from all the fucking racket), I'll take it above, say, a housing development popping up there.

  • T||

    "Got it all wrong, holy man. I absolutely believe in God... And I absolutely hate the fucker."

  • RBS||

    Will Faith+1 be making an appearance?

  • mad libertarian guy||

  • BakedPenguin||

    "You're not making Christianity better, you're making rock worse."

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I could not have said it any better.

    One year, I'm going to rent the biggest PAs I can get my hands on, and counteract all their nonsense with sensible music like Behemoth, Burzum, or Lamb of God.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, Dimmu Borgir (or Bathory if you pref. the original).

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Consider it on the playlist.

  • ||

    I work on the Universal Orlando property. I've heard from the LD that the Christian music festival (I forget the name at the moment) has one of the highest theft rates, but the patrons leave everything virtually spotless, with barely any garbage left behind. I've always found this hilarious for some reason.

  • ||

    You can't smoke in the public parks. There is a lot of "outside" in NYC that isn't park. In fact, most of it.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "The law, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed in February after it was passed by the New York City Council, will make smoking illegal in New York City's 1,700 parks and on the city's 14 miles of public beaches. Smoking will also be prohibited in pedestrian plazas like Times Square."

  • RBS||

    Still leaves a lot of "outside" to smoke in.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Depends on if the term "pedestrian plaza" is a definition left to a LEO's discretion or not

  • Robert||

    If it's like the previous anti-smoking laws in NY y NYC, it applies only to tobacco smoking. I kid you not, that was specified in the statute y ordinance. That provides a loophole for, for instance, smoking non-tobacco products in a stage play to simulate tobacco smoking.

  • Paul.||

    I can see by this thread I got my point across.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Epic new Katatonia track. This album, due out late August, is going to be awesome.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Link fail.

    Katatonia!

  • mr simple||

    worried about scofflaws offending bystanders

    If people had the right not to be offended, I get the feeling we'd all be on most wanted lists, except maybe for Ken. Fuck these dicks who think they have a right to not be offended and fuck cunts who get offended easily.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    This is why nobody takes libertarians seriously.

  • T||

    As long as you're not offended, CN.

  • Robert||

    It neglects the fact that public display would still be a ticketable violation, just not a crime.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The world can't afford this massive influx of pot smoking munchers:

    "ATHENS, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – A recent study conducted by scientists in London found that the obese persons of the world are playing an increasingly large role in the rate at which the planet’s finite resources are used."

    http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/20.....resources/

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And so long as said fat fuckers are paying for said resources out of their own pocket, what business is it of anyone?

    People who are always railing about "finite resources" (particularly food) have never left a city and have no idea that a fuckload of unused land does, in fact, exist.

  • ||

    It's not about that. It's about control. It's about them trying to find any way they can to "prove" that they should be allowed to control people. For the collective good, of course.

  • LTC John||

    This, this and always this.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I agree wholeheartedly. It's just nice to see their faces when one brings ACTUAL facts in to the conversation rather than their made up facts from some "scientific" study that was designed specifically to draw a specific conclusion.

  • ||

    Most of that "unused" land is in fact being used. Not every place can be as highly utilized as NYC -- some places are only good for low value stuff like slowly growing timber.

  • ||

    Not arguing with your contention that "finite" resources can be damn close to "infinite" levels with sufficient ingenuity and technological development. There are prolly millions of earth-like planets in this galaxy alone just sitting there fallow, for example.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    So the vast majority of the millions of acres of federal land out west is being used for some productive purpose that prevents it from being used as farmland of some kind (even if, in the case of deserts, it needs to be used as either greenhouse or indoor hydroponic space)? I call BS.

  • Robert||

    Another reason to get rid of Mike Long as state chair of the Conservative Party.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement