Marijuana Law In New York The 'Dumbest Drug Law' 
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Marijuana Law In New York The 'Dumbest Drug Law' 
Posted by CN Staff on August 28, 2012 at 05:50:56 PT
By Christopher Mathias
Source: Huffington Post
New York -- Juan Gomez-Garcia was standing outside a Bronx Kentucky Fried Chicken on May 16, 2012, waiting for his order to be prepared, when a police officer approached and asked him if he had any drugs. The 27-year-old says he admitted to carrying some marijuana, at which point the cop reached inside his pocket and pulled out a ziploc bag containing weed. Months earlier, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued a memo to New York City cops: "A crime will not be charged to an individual who is requested or compelled to engage in the behavior that results in the public display of marijuana."
The directive-- considered an attempt to curb the growing amount of low-level marijuana arrests in New York City-- did not spare Gomez-Garcia from being cuffed outside KFC. Under a current New York law-- which Reason this past week crowned as the nation's "Dumbest Drug Law"-- possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana shouldn't result in arrest unless it's "burning or in public view." Rather, it's considered a violation with a punishment comparable to a parking ticket.The law allows the NYPD, however, to ask the hundreds of thousands they stop on the streets each year (87 percent of whom, in 2011, were black or Latino) to empty their pockets. When the marijuana comes out of the pocket, it becomes "in public view," and they can make an arrest. Additionally-- as in Gomez-Garcia's case-- cops will often bring the drugs into "public view" during a stop-and-frisk. According to a lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Society against the NYPD, Gomez-Garcia's encounter with the officer resulted in an arrest. He was held in a jail cell for 12 hours-- during which time he pleaded with a sergeant that he should only be getting a ticket-- before being charged with "in public view" possession and pleading guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct. Thousands of such arrests across the city, the lawsuit claims, highlight the ineffectiveness of Kelly's September, 2011 memo. Steven Banks, a Legal Aid lawyer, presented City Council with statistics proving Kelly's order was being ignored by rank-and-file cops.From The New York Times:In August 2011, 4,189 people were arrested in New York City for misdemeanor marijuana possession, Mr. Banks said. While the arrests dipped below 3,000 in December, "the decline was only temporary", he said, adding that by March, the number of arrests had risen to 4,186In June, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a bill to decriminalize public possession of small amounts of marijuana, which would have essentially codifed Kelly's memo into law. The measure enjoyed the support of Ray Kelly himself, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, all five District Attorneys from all five boroughs, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, and numerous civil rights groups. After all, the combination of the "in public view" law with the NYPD's controversial use of stop-and-frisks had turned New York City into one of the marijuana arrest capitals of the United States, if not the world. From a report by the Drug Policy Alliance:In the last decade since Michael Bloomberg became mayor, the NYPD has made 400,038 lowest level marijuana possession arrests at a cost of $600 million dollars. Nearly 350,000 of the marijuana possession arrests made under Bloomberg are of overwhelmingly young Black and Latino men, despite the fact that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young Blacks and Latinos. In the last five years, the NYPD under Bloomberg has made more marijuana arrests (2007 to 2011 = 227,093) than in the 24 years from 1978 through 2001 under Mayor Giuliani, Mayor Dinkins, and Mayor Koch combined (1978 to 2001 = 226,861).City Councilman Jumaane Williams was troubled by the report, saying, "This data shows that Commissioner Kelly's memorandum is not being enforced. For instance, the 240% increase in arrests in the last week of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 is highly troubling. It also seems that much of this rise is occurring in police precincts which cover communities of more color, such as the 67th and the 70th in my district. What these statistics prove is that legislative action is needed to codify the memorandum once and for all."But alas, the same month as it was proposed, the bill was struck down by Republicans in the State Senate. "We do not support decriminalization," Senator Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, told The Times. Skelos had previously said of the bill, "Just being able to walk around with 10 joints in each ear and it would only be a violation, I think that's wrong."Cuomo spokesman John Vlasto responded to Skelos's comment, saying, "Carrying 10 joints in each ear would require some set of ears." He then added, "We look forward to working these issues through with the Senate in order to end an injustice that has been allowed to go on for too long."It remains unclear, however, if Cuomo and Senate Republicans can or will come to an agreement.For now, it seems marijuana arrests in New York will be an issue for the courts to decide. HuffPost Live will be taking a comprehensive look at America’s failed war on drugs August 28th and September 4th from 12-4 pm ET and 6-10 pm ET. Click here to check it out -- -- and join the conversation.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Christopher MathiasPublished: August 28, 2012Copyright: 2012, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by MikeEEEEE on August 31, 2012 at 14:23:29 PT
You or me?
Ask a cop whether he cares about doing the right thing, or making extra overtime money?Some officers will look the other way, but others are worse than the criminals. 
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Comment #9 posted by schmeff on August 29, 2012 at 11:17:24 PT
Great Op-Ed
The Unconscionable War on Marijuana
Pot Injustice Pervades Public
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on August 29, 2012 at 09:09:22 PT
The prohibs are on a tear.
The supposed IQ study. The fresh barrage of "Gateway" fears.It's to be expected with the votes we have coming up.Even if all the prohibitionist's fears, and all their possibilities... all the "maybes" and "mights", were rock solid true... it still wouldn't be bad enough, not even nearly, to justify what they do to people in the name of their beloved prohibition.
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Comment #7 posted by Mahakal on August 28, 2012 at 20:12:40 PT
Even Time Magazine makes mockery of this study.To begin with they define their cohort as having diagnosed as being addicted to cannabis, which isn't physically possible, so their bias is exposed."(I wonder what treatments they were given as well.)
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Comment #6 posted by Mahakal on August 28, 2012 at 17:37:03 PT
human be-in (g)
Coming Back to Golden Gate ParkBy Popular DemandThe Human Be-In 14th - 16th, 2012. Come be!
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on August 28, 2012 at 11:49:58 PT
#4 -- I Pressed Post Message too soon
Meditation whether sitting as in Zazen or moving as in Tai Chi or Qigong. [Part of this sentence is missing.]Here is the complete sentence I was trying to post:Meditation whether sitting as in Zazen or moving as in Tai Chi or Qigong also helps people to integrate the left and right brain functions, the body and the mind. 
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on August 28, 2012 at 11:40:15 PT
IQ, Left & Right Brain Functions, and EQ
I was in mid-sentence when I saw another link to the following article on AOL. "Do you think -- WTF!" I could not remember the question I was about to ask because I thought, oh, no! Here we go again, more reefer madness pseudo-science after all there's an election coming soon. And no, I was not high at the time. I remember reading a study on psychedelics in which subjects self-reported that the questions asked by the experimenter seemed silly and irrelevant to the amazing experiences they subjects were having in response to their psychedelic "trip." Obviously cannabis is only a mild psychedelic, but the state of mind measured by IQ test is highly biased in favor of rational thinking only. Many recent mind scientists regard rationality as a useful, but limited mindset. Rationality is left hemisphere brain activity split from the right hemisphere brain activities of art, music, drama, religion, sports, etc. Yoga trains people to integrate the left and right brain functions, the body and the mind. Meditation whether sitting as in Zazen or moving as in Tai Chi or Qigong. News | World.
Marijuana-smoking teens risk lower IQ.
Teens who smoke pot can damage memory, intelligence, says long-term study.
Published on Monday August 27, 2012.
Kate Kelland,
Teenagers who become hooked on cannabis before they reach 18 may be causing lasting damage to their intelligence, memory and... commenters do a good job of debunking this transparent fear-based attempt to influence public opinion.There is now even an EQ, emotional quotient in today's brain science. "The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), is a self-report measure of EI developed as a measure of emotionally and socially competent behavior that provides an estimate of one's emotional and social intelligence."
-Emotional intelligence Zen Meditation Instructions
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on August 28, 2012 at 08:21:25 PT
 States are spending $20 million every day imprisoning people who use drugs.
Tell the Republican and Democratic parties to include ending the drug war in their policy priorities.
 Dear jerry,
You and I both know it's unacceptable that the United States has less than five percent of the world’s population but almost twenty-five percent of its prison population. But with our government locking up nonviolent drug offenders at record rates, a massive prison system is inevitable. It’s time for a change.
The Republican and Democratic National Conventions are around the corner. Let the parties know where you stand. Demand that they include ending the drug war in their party platforms so the candidates will have to address the issue.
People shouldn’t be incarcerated for possession of any drug. All that imprisoning millions of people for nonviolent drug offenses has done is bankrupt us financially and morally, turning people with debilitating addictions into people with debilitating convictions. At a time when we're cutting state budgets for education, the states are spending about $20 million a day imprisoning people who use drugs.
It’s time to rethink our priorities. Our drug policies will only change with growing pressure from voters like you. And the conventions over the next two weeks give us a chance to demand that politicians start taking the drug war seriously.
Let's seize this opportunity. Urge the Republicans and Democrats to face up to the failure of America’s longest war -- the indefensible war on drugs.
When you’re in a hole, you don’t just keep digging. The U.S. government has spent more than a trillion dollars digging, and all we have to show for it are millions of people in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. The decisions made at the conventions will set the tone for the rest of the election season. Now is the time to tell the major parties to show leadership by taking on the drug war.
Support for ending the war on drugs crosses all party lines. We know the war on drugs has failed, and it’s time to make sure that drug policy reform is part of the national debate. Sincerely,
Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance 
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on August 28, 2012 at 07:05:07 PT
Lots of bad cops.
I've seen many police types that, from their heart, have an interest in being good people; You gotta love them.And then there are so many bad crappy people wearing a badge that make Me think of them and their whole profession as scum. N.Y. has a lot of bad cops that drive the people on earth down. They refuse to let citizens live. Vampires. It's upsetting. How can We get these people off the surface?
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Comment #1 posted by Paul Pot on August 28, 2012 at 07:03:07 PT:
How low can cops go?
"The lowest man in my kingdom is my turn key"
Queen Victoria.
The police are the lowest filth on the planet.
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