New York Governor Cuomo: We Need To Fully Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director June 5, 2012

    In an unprecedented and frankly unexpected political move yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference and announced that he supports legislation to amend and modernize New York’s thirty-four year old cannabis ‘decriminalization’ laws.

    From New York Post

    The state and national press reaction has been both overwhelming and uniformly positive. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg and long-serving NYPD chief Raymond Kelly, the barely cloaked targets of Cuomo’s actions for their overly aggressive and racially disparate enforcement of cannabis laws in New York City over the last decade, have publicly stated that they too support Governor Cuomo’s call for change in cannabis laws in New York.

    My own speculation is that Governor Cuomo, eying the Democratic nomination to the  U.S. presidency in 2016, wants to properly position himself as a bona fide cannabis law reformer as cannabis law reform is actually a very popular political topic among the American electorate as approximately seventy-five percent of the public supports medical access to cannabis; seventy-three percent support decriminalization cannabis use and possession; and now fifty percent of the public supports outright cannabis legalization.

    You know the end of Cannabis Prohibition is on the near horizon when ascending politicians believe the need for beefing up on their cannabis law reform successes is a necessary prelude to run for president.

    Apparently, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and Drug Policy Alliance director Ethan Nadelmann agree too with my speculations about Governor Cuomo…

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    65 responses to “New York Governor Cuomo: We Need To Fully Decriminalize Marijuana Possession”

    1. Bob says:

      OK folks its time to make a stand.

      The only thing that can get things done is money and votes. Most of us have voting rights, some have money. If ya have some money to spare – contribute to Normal or a like organization and/or email this message to your elected officials and stand firm. Also send to like minded friends and family:

      To the President, Members of the US Congress, State and local elected officials:

      Criminal marijuana prohibition is a failure. Over 20 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses since 1965 with over 800,000 arrests in 2010 and each year the number increases. The problem is getting worse – not because of the benign plant, but because of the obsolete laws. The time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

      I can no longer vote for elected officials that support the the current laws. I have decided not to vote for any politician that does not publicly support the removal of all penalties for the private possession and endorse responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.


      Voting Citizen
      & Member of the Movement

    2. Chris in WI says:

      It’s still inconsistent. I can have up to 25 grams but it’s illegal to grow and buy it…. Did it fall like mana from heaven to my hands? Wtf over?! Legalize it already! De-schedule, not reschedule; get wth the program!

    3. Buster Jones says:

      To norml. cant share this with people in GA. I go to send in the pop up. I type to send then my email, but nowhere to click send. something is wrong.

    4. Cat Cassie says:

      This is great news!! I wonder how far away total legalization is now?

    5. Shawn Christopher says:

      OK, OK, I”m actually stunned about this. I’m on top of this type of news and who supports what. I did not expect this at all. I live in new york. I”ve heard Cuomo compare medical marijuana to Prostitution, which is pretty asinine, Bloomberg and Kelly have ALWAYS defended this law saying it “Kept the streets safe” I”m dumbfounded by this dramatic turn of events

    6. access any safer? says:

      Would there be any “drug crime” on record, from the ticket being issued? Also, what if the consumer wishes to purchase through the mail; is that a separate crime, perhaps punishable by federal law? What about non-public view, personal possession within a school zone; does this law still protect people from arrest in that situation?

    7. Bob says:

      I have a dream – its very simple. Our elected officials (federal,state and local) should be required to take drug tests like any American getting a new job or like other public employees such as firemen and police who are subject to periodic on going tests. Let them get a taste of prohibition and the police state. Things may change. DEMAND DRUG TESTING OF PUBLIC OFFICALS!!

      Just think of the jobs it will create.

    8. Good Job says:

      This is groundbreaking news.

    9. Chad Greenaley says:

      This is great to hear, to be honest i never thought Coumo would have a change of heart.

      But to be honest, i believe when everyone looks back to this moment, and Cuomo begins to sign the full decriminalize marijuana act. This will be the start of things to come, and others will follow suit. We need to really throw a lot of support behind Cuomo,Bloomberg, and especially the police department, this is a united effort and not a divided effort we see in most states doing these things.

      You see people we are on the way, but this does not mean we are out of the clear. We need to keep donating, the more states with decriminalization and legalization the better.

      I hope we can have Illinois and New Hampshire agree to these things. In my personal opinion Illinois will be the most important because it is in Obama’s home state when he was a senator.

      Truthfully If we can get an extra one for Florida and Tennessee. The entire legalization in congress will be within grasp. We are so close, do not give up people.

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