Marijuana Arrests That 'Stigmatize and Criminalize... Must End Now'
Category: News | Posted on Thu, January, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
In his State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a passionate call to reform New York's marijuana possession laws in order to reduce the enormous number of unlawful, biased, and costly arrests. The governor noted the discrepancy in the law between public and private possession of marijuana, and proposed standardizing the penalties for possession of small amounts. After citing the harmful outcomes of these arrests -- like racial disparities, stigma from criminalization, and fiscal waste -- the governor made a forceful call for immediate reform: "It's not fair, it's not right. It must end, and it must end now."
Possession of marijuana is the leading arrest in New York City today -- but it's not supposed to be this way. In 1977, New York State removed criminal penalties for private possession of marijuana, and made possession in public view a misdemeanor. The 1977 Legislature made its intent clear:
The legislature finds that arrests, criminal prosecutions, and criminal penalties are inappropriate for people who possess small quantities of marihuana (sic) for personal use. Every year, this process needlessly scars thousands of lives and wastes millions of dollars in law enforcement resources, while detracting from the prosecution of serious crime.
Despite -- or in spite of -- the legislative intent, more than 600,000 people have been arrested for marijuana possession during the last 15 years in New York. Most of these arrest occur in the Big Apple: more than 50,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2011 alone. Most of these arrests are unconstitutional -- people possessing marijuana in their pocket or bag are instead charged and arrested for possession in public view. Nearly 85 percent of those arrested are black and Latino, mostly young men, even though government data shows that young whites use marijuana at higher rates. This creates, essentially, a two-tier legal system where the law is applied differently to different groups of people depending on their race. As if the human costs weren't already bad enough, this practice costs taxpayers at least $75 million a year. It's a classic case of drug war insanity.
In calling for reform, the governor enjoys broad support from community groups, faith and civil rights organizations, parents, young people, drug policy reformers -- and law enforcement, including NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, all five New York City district attorneys, Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard, and others.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Alligator found in California home guarding $100,000 marijuana stash
Category: Odd | Posted on Thu, January, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
CBS/AP) CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. - California police who entered a man's house Wednesday afternoon for a probation check said they found a $100,000 stash of marijuana guarded by a five-foot-long alligator.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Alameda County deputies entered the home of 32-year-old Assif Mayr where they found 34 pounds of marijuana and the five-foot alligator in a tank in the bedroom.
Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said Mayr got the alligator, named "Mr. Teeth," in 1996 "to commemorate the death of rapper Tupac Shakur." Nelson added that the alligator was likely used as a deterrent against marijuana thieves.
Mayr was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale. He is held in lieu of $160,000 bail.
The alligator was taken to the Oakland Zoo. Officials there described it as very sick and said it was being cared for at the zoo's veterinary hospital.
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