There was movement on the legalization front in New York State recently. Governor Cuomo unveiled a marijuana proposal two weeks ago, promoting it as a way to end the high number of arrests that result from the stop-and-frisk practice of the New York Police Department. He immediately won the backing of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, as well as the police department and prosecutors. With the support of law enforcement, some Democrats and drug-policy advocates said they did not expect the Republican-controlled Senate to stand in the way.
“You have the governor of the state, the speaker of the Assembly, the mayor of the city, the police commissioner, all five D.A.’s from the city,” said Harry G. Levine, a sociologist at Queens College who has studied the city’s marijuana arrest practices. “It seemed like if this many powerful people said they wanted X, which wasn’t that big a deal, it should be possible to do it.”
But the collapse of the marijuana proposal illustrated an at-times awkward reality about the balance of power in Albany: Legislation eagerly sought by New York City can easily be torpedoed by lawmakers from upstate, even when the legislation largely affects only residents of the city. The marijuana measure would have had an impact mostly on city residents because, of the more than 50,000 low-level marijuana arrests in New York State last year, 9 in 10 occurred in the city, according to state data.
The differing life experiences, and worldviews, of lawmakers in the two chambers proved too much to overcome in the final days of this legislative session, and on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared his marijuana proposal dead.
[I saved the best for last] “Marijuana still is a gateway drug to so many other much more dangerous things,” said Senator John J. Flanagan, a Long Island Republican. [Harry Anslinger lives!]
Greenies, what matters is not how many times you get knocked down. What matters is how many times you get back up. Lookin’ at you, New York.
Original source material is interesting and is here.
[image: Google images New York State]