Oct 232012
 

new york medical marijuanaNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo Wants To Prevent Pay Increases For Legislators

By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Coordinator

While the discussion of marijuana policy may be noticeably absent from the current dialogue in the presidential race, one prominent Democratic Party member is not backing down on his push to reform his state’s marijuana laws.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has redoubled his efforts to decriminalize the possession of marijuana in public view after state legislators failed to act on the measure before the end of this year’s session. Amid discussions of a pay increase for legislators, Governor Cuomo told reporters this morning that, “I would not even consider, even consider a pay raise, unless the people’s business was being done in a thorough, responsible way.”

Included in his definition of “the people’s business” is the decriminalization of marijuana he had championed earlier in the year, along with an increase in New York’s minimum wage.

There have been talks about the legislature reconvening for a special session in the state after election day and before the start of next year’s session in January, but the governor made clear he would not sign off on their desired pay raise without action on these reform efforts.

“I understand they may have an interest in a pay raise. I’m interested in a people’s agenda and that’s what the session would be about,” stated Gov. Cuomo.

It is refreshing to see such a prominent sitting politician stand up for sound marijuana reform. New York’s current failed policy has cost the state around $75 million a year to arrest about 50,000 people for small amounts of marijuana, 85% of whom were people of color. This policy disproportionately targets the most vulnerable in our society and we applaud Governor Cuomo for taking a strong stance on this important issue. We can only hope other elected officials take notice and follow suit.

Note: This story was featured on The Colbert report last night. You can view the segment here. You can view more press coverage here.

Source: NORML

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • opinionated

    It is not the State laws that are a problem it is that federal and state laws are not on the same page of this issue.

  • johhny1

    I had to read this twice , Cuomo fighting for Cannabis?
    must be an election , or LEO still trying to cover-up JIM CROW LAWS
    And NY racist “STOP AND FRISK”