Mayor de Blasio is against legalizing marijuana, telling reporters on Monday that "what marijuana can lead to in a young person's life" prevents him from endorsing it. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced yesterday that she is in favor of it: “It’s not something we can just do randomly, but with a thought process, and looking how it’s being implemented in other areas," the Speaker said. "I do support the legalization of marijuana."
Do their positions on marijuana legalization actually matter? Not really. The state controls cannabis prohibition, and Governor Cuomo and the Republicans control the state (the same governor who prevented medical marijuana patients from smoking marijuana).
Mark-Viverito's announcement does give her some cover with police reform advocates, given her refusal to support a bill that would require the NYPD to inform you of your right to refuse to a search and document your refusal or consent.
The Right To Know Act, modeled on existing laws in other states, which would amend the two prongs of the Community Safety Act that passed last year, would also require police to identify themselves as law enforcement and inform citizens why they are being stopped.
— Emily Ngo (@epngo) November 13, 2014
"While Mayor de Blasio's recent announcement about curbing marijuana arrests is a step in the right direction, none of the policies set forth so far have dealt with the on-the-ground interactions between police and people, particularly the young men of color who are targeted at the highest rates," councilmember Richie Torres, a lead co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. "The Right to Know Act will go a long way toward improving these interactions."
This may be true, but the only actor who can actually improve the quality and constitutionality of police searches is the police. Where's that federal monitor, again?