Friday, February 15, 2013

Bloomberg is Still Anti-Weed, But Now Also Anti-Weed Prison Time

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM

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This week has been unexpectedly seminal one, at least for people that very specifically care about our outgoing mayor's thoughts on weed smokin' (other than "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.").

During his radio show this morning, Bloomberg reiterated that he's not into the idea of truly legalizing, in part because it's somehow "stronger than it used to be," and in part because he believes that "if marijuana were legal, those dealers would just start selling something else, like cocaine."

A little confusing and disappointing, sure, but this week's State of the City address had some heartening (or just practical, depending on how you look at it) news, in the form of an announcement that minor marijuana arrests in New York will no longer lead to an unnecessary night in jail. From the speech:

"But we know that there’s more we can do to keep New Yorkers, particularly young men, from ending up with a criminal record. Commissioner Kelly and I support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a violation, rather than a misdemeanor and we’ll work to help him pass it this year. But we won’t wait for that to happen.

“Right now, those arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana are often held in custody overnight. We’re changing that. Effective next month, anyone presenting an ID and clearing a warrant check will be released directly from the precinct with a desk appearance ticket to return to court. It’s consistent with the law, it’s the right thing to do and it will allow us to target police resources where they’re needed most."

Which is great, albeit long overdue. Only a matter of time, then, unti he's blazing publicly with his "bananas funky" event DJ.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.

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