NYC Plans To Stop Many Marijuana Arraignments
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NYC Plans To Stop Many Marijuana Arraignments
Posted by CN Staff on February 15, 2013 at 05:17:02 PT
By Jennifer Peltz,  Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
New York -- Many people arrested on low-level marijuana-possession charges in the nation's largest city will no longer be booked and held hours for arraignment, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday. Starting next month, people who get picked up on charges of having a small amount of marijuana will be released with appearance tickets if they have identification and no open warrants, Bloomberg said, spotlighting the issue in his State of the City address amid debate over the tens of thousands of such arrests in the city each year.
Now, many of those arrested are booked and remain in custody until they go before a judge, a process that can take 24 to 36 hours. An appearance ticket, by contrast, means a person is freed until a future court date. "It's the right thing to do, and it will allow us to target police resources where they're needed most," Bloomberg said, adding that he continues to back a push to change state laws surrounding marijuana possession. The change comes after several years of back-and-forth between the city and advocates for less punitive drug policies over the growing number of low-level marijuana arrests in the city in the past decade. The announcement also comes amid what many observers see as a nationwide trend toward legalizing recreational marijuana use. In November, voters in Washington and Colorado approved decriminalizing and regulating possession of small amounts. New York state has complicated laws surrounding small amounts of pot. Possession of less than 25 grams, or about 7/8 of an ounce, of the drug is a non-criminal violation and generates a ticket, not an arrest  unless it's "open to public view." Then it's a low-level misdemeanor and spurs an arrest. That misdemeanor has been the most common arrest charge in the city for much of the past decade. More than 50,000 people were arrested on it in 2011 and 2010; figures for 2012 weren't immediately available Thursday. Critics have said police manipulate people into getting arrested by telling them to empty their pockets or bags, and then arresting them when they pull out marijuana that's then publicly visible. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said he didn't believe many arrests were made that way, but he sent around a memo in September 2011 reminding officers they couldn't do that. Critics hailed the Bloomberg's announcement Thursday as a good step, while saying more needed to be done. "With this new policy change, tens of thousands of people, mostly young men of color, will no longer be held in jail overnight for possessing small amounts of marijuana. But the arrests themselves need to end  period," said Gabriel Sayegh, the New York state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, a group critical of the national war on drugs. Bloomberg said he would continue to back Gov. Andrew Cuomo's efforts to make possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana a violation even if it's in public view, though not if someone is publicly smoking it.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Jennifer Peltz,  Associated PressPublished:  February 14, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Associated PressCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on February 15, 2013 at 22:44:27 PT
Observer Comment 3
Making a better world!
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Comment #6 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 15, 2013 at 22:18:41 PT
Very encouraging!
So much news, hard to cover it all. This is great, as long as they leave it alone.  Bill Maher's..."I'm gay for Marijuana" Comments on the Conan before the last presidential speech. Love this man
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on February 15, 2013 at 21:40:47 PT
observer #3 
I like it!As long as WE THE PEOPLE get our own home-grown.Meanwhile, let the watchers and control freaks do something useful to humanity with their critical analysis.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 15, 2013 at 18:00:45 PT
That sounds like a good idea!
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Comment #3 posted by observer on February 15, 2013 at 16:56:05 PT
What to Do With Old Prisons
Anyone see this one? "PETERBOROUGH, ON - Cavan Monaghan Township is considering setting up a medical marijuana grow operation at the former Millbrook Correctional Centre..." is where we need to be going. Let's convert our for-profit prisons into for- (BIGGER) -profit cannabis grows. Government should carefully watch our legal, (medical et al.) cannabis grow, and carefully record and observe cannabis strains and growing conditions - instead of us watching each other from drones and worse for petty law infractions in a totalitarian police state that's like a high-tech STASI or SAVAK.Let's turn the DEA, FDA, and NIDA from the corrupted, thoroughly political police-state and propaganda arms of government they are, back into a "Pure Food and Drug" bureau that's more like Consumer Reports. (That means no arrests, guns, or jail.) Government should be helping us, like their lying propaganda continually claims it is. Government should not be attempting to emulate the worst aspects of the NKVD, the GRU, Lord Shang and every tin-pot dictator in between. Like we see now, made in the USA. Expect this Ontario township to immediately come under a propaganda barrage excoriating the evil 1960's Manson-like crazed dopers in the 2013 township council and their wicked plans to poison the "youths."
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 15, 2013 at 09:23:29 PT
D.C.'s First Dispensary Hopes For April Opening
D.C.'s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Hopes for April OpeningApril 14, 2013Washington D.C. -- Medical marijuana experts and activists are coming to D.C. for a national conference next week - just as the district's first medical marijuana dispensaries gear up for business.
 The city has licensed six facilities to grow the drug and four shops to sell medicinal marijuana.
 Capital City Care on North Capitol Street is one of those shops. They hope to open in early April, becoming the district's first medical marijuana dispensary. 
 General manager David Guard said the rules will be the strictest in the country. 
"The receptionist will double check your ID, issued by the Department of Health, against their database," Guard explained.Read more:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 15, 2013 at 05:17:55 PT
Another Step
I think what is going on is really encouraging.
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