Could Marijuana Be Decriminalized in The Hudson Valley?
Marijuana use may soon be decriminalized in the Hudson Valley and the rest of the state.
Somewhat secretly, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the decriminalization of weed possession. The proposal was place in middle of a 383-page book that outlines his plans for 2017, the New York Daily News reports.
“The illegal sale of marijuana cannot and will not be tolerated in New York State, but data consistently show that recreational users of marijuana pose little to no threat to public safety,” Cuomo wrote.
Cuomo never mentioned the proposal in any of his six State of the State addresses, including one that was held in Westchester County.
The bill is aimed at making sure users don’t end up in jail. Dealers would still face criminal charges. According to the governor’s office, last year almost 90% of pot violations were for possession and not sale, the Times Union reports.
“This measure reflects the national trend and dramatic shift in public opinion,” Cuomo stated in the book. “Whereas other states have sought the full legalization of marijuana, this legislative change will specifically affect individual users and not reduce penalties on those who illegally supply and sell marijuana.”
In 2012, Cuomo unsuccessfully attempted to decriminalize possession of a small amount of weed. He likely faces opposition, again, this year in a Republican controlled state.