When Some People Say Jump (New York Story #3 Today)

8 06 2012


Here’s another think piece for you. From the Associated Press out of New York: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday proposed cutting the penalty for public possession of a small amount of marijuana, a change in state law that would defuse some criticism of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy in minority communities. With three weeks remaining in the legislative session, Cuomo said his bill to reduce the criminal misdemeanor to a violation with a fine up to $100 would save thousands of New Yorkers, disproportionately black and Hispanic youths, from unnecessary arrests and criminal charges.

“‘There’s a blatant inconsistency. If you possess marijuana privately, it’s a violation. If you show it in public, it’s a crime,’ Cuomo said. ‘It’s incongruous. It’s inconsistent the way it’s been enforced. There have been additional complications in relation to the stop-and-frisk policy where there’s claims young people could have a small amount of marijuana in their pocket, where they’re stopped and frisked. The police officer says, “Turn out your pockets.” The marijuana is now in public view. It just went from a violation to a crime,'” and that’s not good.

“New York City prosecutors and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, whose offices handled almost 50,000 such criminal cases last year, endorsed [Cuomo]’s plan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the bill largely mirrors the city police directive issued last year for officers to issue violations, not misdemeanors, ‘for small amounts of marijuana that come into open view during a search.'” Now, you heard about this, I’m sure, in the context: Here’s Doomberg who wants to stop you from being able to buy anything over 16 ounces (if it’s a Coke or a Pepsi or a 7-Up or whatever), but he wants to relax the penalties on small amounts of marijuana.

But that’s not the point here. Reading you the details here, I wonder how many of you caught something. This law “disproportionately affects” blacks and Hispanic youths, and the Police Commissioner said that his office handles 50,000 such criminal cases last year, and it’s just not worth it. It’s not that big a violation. Let’s take this from just a misdemeanor and get rid of that. Just call it a violation and move on.

Yeah, I caught something.

Why are we adjusting the law based only on the sensitivities of young blacks and Hispanics?

Using that logic, we should repeal murder laws, because young black and Hispanic men commit almost all murders in New York City.

I approve of the actual policy mentioned here, but not because of anything related to blacks and Hispanics.





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