Stay Green, New York: Marijuana Arrests To Drop 20% In 2013

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You probably know the rules by now: in New York City, if you're caught in public view with pot, or in possession of 25 grams or more, you're getting a violation. Because of this (well, at least, partially), New Yorkers made up 99.2 percent (149,951) of the entire state's marijuana-related arrests (total: 155,048) last year. And, in 2012, getting thrown in the can for the reefer was still No. 1 in New York with the highest amount of arrests.

But lately, the external pressures placed on internal agencies by the incredibly high rates has become an engine for policy shifts. This is why Governor Cuomo continues to try to outlaw the public view provision in the criminal code last year. And why Bloomberg has opted out of the 'stay overnight in jail, be at court in the morning' situation for marijuana offenders. And why NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has even told his officers to chill (brah) with the pot arrests.

Luckily, it looks like these efforts are actually showing real-time results.

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Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in NY Legislature [Updated with Commentary]

Categories: Marijuana, Weed

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Assembly Bill 6357 and Senate Bill 4406 would allow for medicinal use of medical marijuana in New York.
A bipartisan coalition has introduced a bill in the New York State Assembly and Senate simultaneously that would permit use of cannabis for medical purposes by patients who have been certified by a doctor. So far, 18 states have passed similar bills, including New Jersey.

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Enjoy Watching Very Stoned People Drive Cars in This Hard-Hitting CNN Investigation

Categories: Driving, Weed

"As a consultant prepared our marijuana-smoking lab . . ." So begins this delightfully straight-faced CNN investigative report, in which the producers got Washington State drivers increasingly high in between repeated outings behind the wheel on a closed course to test their performance. The rest is journalism history.

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Bloomberg Goes Green: The High Vibes Of The Mayor's State Of The City Address

Categories: Bloomberg, Weed

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Yesterday, the Mayor delivered his final State of the City address of his eleven years in office. In it, he reaffirmed his commitment to banning styrofoam in New York, making the most out of the Hurricane Sandy relief money and trumping up his City's low crime statistics. Add in charter schools and gun control and you have yourself a speech made to cement the Mayor's legacy with only eleven months left in office.

But what was perhaps most surprising about the Address was Mr. Bloomberg's enthusiastic response to changing the pot laws in New York City. The Mayor proposed to simply ticket and release pot smokers on the spot instead of bringing them Downtown into custody. By doing so, pot possession in the City would shrink in severity from a violation to a misdemeanor.

Wait, what'd you do with the real Mayor Bloomberg?

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New Jersey Gets First Medical Marijuana Dispensary. New York Still Weighing "Risks"

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Today, about 20 medical marijuana patients will meet with staff at the Greenleaf Compassion Center, New Jersey's first medical marijuana facility to open its doors since the state passed a law legalizing prescription pot in 2010.

While medical weed is now legal in the Garden State -- as we've chronicled -- "progressive" New York is still weighing the "risks" of allowing sick people to treat their ailments with weed, rather than other prescription medications that, in most cases, are far more dangerous and addictive than marijuana.

In October, New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd announced that Greenleaf was the first state-sanctioned distributor of medical marijuana, following several hurdles that have delayed the implementation of the state's medical marijuana law.

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Weed Advocates Urge Republican Lawmakers to Support Cuomo's Decriminalization Plan

Categories: Weed
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This afternoon, marijuana advocates will rally in front of City Hall to urge Republican lawmakers to decriminalize "public view" marijuana.

As it stands, marijuana possession in New York is a violation that's about as serious an infraction as a parking ticket. But a loophole in the state's marijuana law makes possessing that same marijuana in "public view" a misdemeanor.

In other words, smoking a joint in your apartment isn't a crime. Smoking the same joint in a park is -- and it could potentially land you in jail because when the law was adopted in the 1970s, lawmakers decided that smoking weed in public is somehow worse than smoking it at home.

If it doesn't seem to make much sense, that's because it doesn't.

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Medical Marijuana Gets New Push In New York; 'High' Hopes Ill-Advised

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A Colorado-based marijuana company has enlisted the help of one of Albany's most influential lobbyists to make medical marijuana a reality in Andrew Cuomo's "progressive" New York. But the chances of the Empire State getting prescription pot any time soon aren't great.

Gaia Plant Based Medicine has recruited former Sheldon Silver aide Pat Lynch's lobbying firm to urge lawmakers -- and Cuomo -- to legalize medical marijuana in New York.

However, despite overwhelming legislative and public approval (anywhere from 60-percent to 80-percent of New Yorkers support medical marijuana, depending on which poll you look at), Cuomo has said he won't approve a bill legalizing medical marijuana.

The firm controlled by Pat Lynch, a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by Colorado-based marijuana company, Gaia Plant Based Medicine

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/medical-marijuana-proponents-ny-renew-push-legalization-article-1.1207862#ixzz2DL1KAw2

The firm controlled by Pat Lynch, a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by Colorado-based marijuana company, Gaia Plant Based Medicine

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/medical-marijuana-proponents-ny-renew-push-legalization-article-1.1207862#ixzz2DL1KAw2

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Weed Won't Turn You Into A Violent Criminal: Report

Categories: Weed
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www.weheartit.com
Until recently, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly have insisted that arresting people for low-level marijuana offenses is a way to reduce violent crime in the city.

The idea that weed somehow turns people into violent criminals, of course, is a load of crap -- as proven by a study released today.

Human Rights Watch released the findings of its study on whether those who are arrested for marijuana possession go on to commit violent crimes -- which, believe it or not, they don't. Shocking, we know.

The study, titled "A Red Herring: Marijuana Arrestees Do Not Become Violent Felons," found there is no evidence to support the idea that locking up low-level marijuana offenders does anything to reduce violent crime.

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The Big Lobbyist Battle for Medical Reefer in New York Begins

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New York has had the whole medical marijuana conversation for a while (end result: fail), and legalizing marijuana, if only for medical purposes, has its twists and turns here. Even with the rollback of the Draconian Rockefeller drug laws by Cuomo, being the world capital of weed arrests sure doesn't help. But it seems as if change might be in the (smoky) air.

After Election Day, with residents in Colorado and Washington now able to toke up tort-free and Massachusetts clearing the way for doctored weed, the pressure is now on for marijuana decriminalization to be a sensible revenue-based discussion across the nation. And those invested in the green industry know this -- hence why, according to a report yesterday in the New York Post, Big Marijuana (the name now given to the toking titans) is pulling out the big guns for Albany.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a lobbying war in the works. Let's take a look at the fighters involved.
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Hudson River Park Rapist Opts for the Old Four Loko and Weed Defense

Categories: Booze, Rapes, Weed
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www.NSOPW.gov
Alleged rapist/convicted sex offender Jonathan Stewart

A convicted sex offender accused of violently raping a woman at Hudson River Park last month told police that he doesn't know if he raped the woman because he'd consumed five Four Lokos before the attack -- but that was only after drinking vodka and smoking weed and K-2, a brand of synthetic marijuana.

Four Loko is a booze-infused energy drink that has been banned in Washington state and at several universities following a plethora of cases of blackouts and alcohol poisoning credited to the drink. Four Loko, however, is not a recognized legal defense for rape.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced yesterday that Jonathan Stewart has been formally indicted on charges of predatory sexual assault, rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, and sexual abuse in the first degree for the September 22 rape.



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