NY Times Op-Ed on Common Sense for Marijuana
Earlier this week we reported on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposing the decriminalization of marijuana possession in public view, as long as it was of 25 grams or less (MJ Decriminalized).
Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos responded that the proposal would allow people to “walk around with 10 joints in each ear.” A silly statement at first glance – how big do your ears have to be to hold ten joint in each? – Senator Skelos’ statement belies the hysteria that still surrounds marijuana, the “reefer madness” if you will.
The New York Times editorial board responded to Mr. Skelos with an op-ed calling for common sense on the issue of marijuana. “The plan does not condone marijuana use,” the NYT board writes. “People smoking marijuana in public would still be subject to arrest. But it reduces open possession of 25 grams or less from a misdemeanor, which involves arrest and a criminal record, to a violation, akin to a traffic ticket. Even under the proposal, a person charged with a marijuana violation more than twice in a three-year period would be subject to a $250 fine or a sentence of up to 15 days in jail, or both.”
The fact is a lot of old politicians don’t know much about marijuana and don’t bother to learn about proposals concerning marijuana. This proposal would not allow people to walk around with marijuana in plain view. All it does is not charge people with a crime if police ask them to empty their pockets. Under current rules, actually possessing small amounts of cannabis is decriminalized, but having it in public view is a misdemeanor. In other words, pulling out weed in public is a crime, even if a cop told you to do it.
“Common sense” is the perfect phrase for the future of marijuana policy. If a policy violates common sense it’s probably not a good policy to begin with.
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