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Republicans Kill Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

We refuse to stop using this stock photo until a decriminalization bill is passed
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We refuse to stop using this stock photo until a decriminalization bill is passed



The bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana that was introduced two weeks ago and endorsed by Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the Patrolman's Benevolent Association president, and every single District Attorney in the five boroughs and Nassau County, is all but dead. The problem? Republicans. "We do not support decriminalization," State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos told the Times. So New York City will remain the best place to get arrested for possessing a plant.

“I’ve been working in Albany for almost 10 years," New York Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Gabriel Sayegh, said. "And I can’t recall a moment when law enforcement has said, ‘We want to have this changed,’ and the Republican Party leaders in the Senate and the Conservative Party are basically saying that they don’t want to do it."

Unlike gay marriage, redistricting deals, and pension cuts, Governor Cuomo will not waive the three-day waiting period to review the language of a bill, so any marijuana deal would have had to been struck by Monday at midnight. Cuomo has the possibility of calling a special session later this year, but told former Governor Paterson on his radio show, “Nothing that we have left, frankly, is that urgent that it can’t take more time, and, frankly, wouldn’t be better with more time."

Skelos famously displayed his deep knowledge of drug policy when he said, "Just being able to walk around with 10 joints in each ear and it would only be a violation—I think that’s wrong." Some might say it's wrong that over 50% of the 53,124 people arrested last year for marijuana possession were under 25 years old and 82% of them were black or Hispanic, but then again, 10 JOINTS IN EACH EAR WOW.

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