Main | Monday, February 18, 2013

Bloomberg Revamps Pot Policy

As the New York state legislature considers a bill to further decriminalize the possession of marijuana, New York City Major Michael Bloomberg has announced that those found with small amounts will no longer spend the night in jail.
"I personally am not in favor of legalizing marijuana or any other drugs, I think it's a dangerous thing,” Bloomberg said Friday morning on the John Gambling radio show. “ But the reality is that for small amounts of marijuana there's an awful lot of kids that have it and you're just clogging the jails… you're clogging the courts, you're clogging the police.” Rather than clogging the system, Bloomberg said during his State of the City address, the whole adjudication process could take less than a couple days. “It’s consistent with the law, it’s the right thing to do, and it will allow us to target police resources where they’re needed most,” he said. Pressed by Gambling on his WOR radio show, Bloomberg said he’s not condoning marijuana use. “I don't know [about] condoning, but certainly not penalizing too much,” he said. “Marijuana is just a fact of life in this day and age in a small quantity,” Bloomberg added later. “Cops don't have the time to go out and go after the real bad guys if they're gonna worry about throwing a kid in the slammer overnight for a tiny bit.”
Under Bloomberg's new policy, those arrested for possession will still be taken to the local precinct while the NYPD checks for outstanding warrants. If none are found, the subject will be released with a notice to appear before a judge.

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