New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will ask state lawmakers Monday to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of cannabis, according to The New York Times, in a bid to save young men from minorities who find themselves charged with a crime after being stopped and frisked.Tacking the drug charge on someone who's wanted for a more serious crime doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, and for those for whom it might be their first offense, it makes less so. Now, if only Cuomo could do something about Bloomberg and his nanny state...
Lawmakers representing minority neighborhoods in New York City urged the Democratic governor to take action, arguing that such young men are forced into the justice system unnecessarily and find their future job prospects hampered.
The governor inserting himself into the debate would be controversial and follows a dispute over hailing livery cabs from the street and fingerprinting of food stamp applicants. On the stop-and-frisk issue, Cuomo would find himself at odds with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
His expected push follows a directive last September from police chief Raymond Kelly for officers to overlook such drug discoveries -- which resulted in only a small decrease in such charges.
Many such discoveries are made as youths are stopped and searched for other reasons -- but the drug find means they get a criminal record.
"For individuals who have any kind of a record, even a minuscule one, the obstacles are enormous to employment and to education," New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman said.
"When it's really a huge number of kids in the community who go through this, and all have the same story, the impact is just devastating."
Monday, June 04, 2012
Andrew Cuomo, libertarian?