In his State of the State address, delivered this morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reaffirmed his commitment to reforming his state’s marijuana laws. The governor proposed decriminalizing the possession of 15 grams of marijuana in public view to a civil violation. Currently only possession of marijuana in private is decriminalized, possession in public view is still currently a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 with a maximum sentence of 90 days.
“These arrests stigmatize, they criminalize, they create a permanent record. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it must end and it must end now,” Governor Cuomo stated.
Last year, the Governor declared his support for a similar proposal, but was unable to gather significant support in the state legislature by the end of the year. NORML applauds Governor Cuomo’s commitment to the issue and we were glad to see him putting the topic front and center in a prominent speech.
You can view Governor Cuomo’s speech on C-SPAN here.
At this year’s NORML Conference, which was held the first week of October, much emphasis was placed on the upcoming legalization initiatives in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon. One of the featured speakers was former NORML Board Member and writer for The Stranger in Washington, Dominic Holden. Dominic delivered an impassioned speech defending Washington’s marijuana legalization initiative, I-502, and spoke at length at the importance of winning initiatives and how we can progress towards full legalization in America.
You can watch the video below:
“The first [complaint of the opposition] is they don’t like a provision…that says if you have 5ng active THC in your blood for every mL of whole blood then you are guilty of DUI.
What the opponents have been saying, is that someone who has used marijuana, a regular marijuana user…a medical marijuana user, will test positive for exceeding that level a day later, two days later, a week later. Well guess what? They don’t have a single f***ing scientific study to back them up. In fact, the science proves them wrong. What science shows is the vast majority of marijuana users drop below that 5ng level within a few hours and none within 12-24 hours and certainly not a day later, two days later, a week later. Their argument is fundamentally flawed, because it’s a lie.
They are also concerned about a federal challenge, they say, “If we pass I-502 the federal government is going to challenge us on legalizing pot.”
News Flash: That’s the damn point.”
Expect much more video coverage of this year’s NORML Conference in the coming days and be sure to visit www.newapproachwa.org to learn more about the effort to tax and regulate cannabis in Washington State this November.
This past weekend, tens of thousands of marijuana reform advocates joined MassCANN/NORML on the Boston Common for the 23rd Annual Boston Freedom Rally. This year’s event was a great success, featuring a mix of engaging speakers, entertaining musical acts, diverse vendors, and beautiful weather. Speakers included Jodie Emery, Rep. Barney Frank, Judge Jim Gray, and countless others. If you missed the event this year, be sure to stay tuned to masscann.org for information on next year’s rally as it becomes available. Check out NORML’s photo slideshow from the event below, in addition to several videos of the rally speakers. See you on the Common in 2013!
Click here to view NORML’s Flickr set.
Erik Altieri (NORML)
Dr. Sunil Aggarwal
Judge Jim Gray (Libertarian VP Nominee)
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
More videos are available from MassCann’s livestream archive here.
(Photos by NORML’s Sabrina Fendrick, Barney Frank and Jim Gray video courtesy of MikeCann.net)
Judge Richard Posner serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, he also wants marijuana to be legalized.
During a September 6th speech at Elmhurst College, the federal judge lambasted the war on cannabis. “I don’t think we should have a fraction of the drug laws that we have,” proclaimed Posner to loud applause, “I think it’s really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana.”
Posner went on to state that our drug laws are “a waste of a lot of high quality legal minds, and it’s also a waste of people’s lives who could be as least moderately productive with having to spend year after year in prison. That is a serious problem.”
We here at NORML couldn’t agree more and applaud Judge Posner for having the courage to speak the truth from his high ranking position and for setting a bold example for his colleagues. You can view the entirety of his speech below: