Happy 420, Stoners: Should Fake Pot In New York Really Be More Illegal Than Real Pot?
Members of the New York state Assembly -- on both sides of the aisle -- showed support yesterday for a bill that would criminalize synthetic marijuana. As we pointed out in our post about the bill, if it becomes law, it would make fake weed more illegal than real weed.
Marijuana was decriminalized in New York in 1977 -- getting busted with weed, as long as it's less than 25 grams, basically is like getting a parking ticket (offenders can pay up to $250 in fines).
If assemblymen Felix Ortiz and Pete Lopez have their way, possessing or selling imposter weed would be a criminal offense.
"If you don't put teeth to [the law], people will think they can get away with it," Ortiz said yesterday.
Faux-weed being more illegal than real weed sounds pretty ridiculous when you say it out loud -- it would be like a Rolex you buy in Times Square costing more than a real Rolex. But there is a slight difference between the two: it's impossible to die from a marijuana overdose. It's not impossible to die from a synthetic marijuana overdose -- but it's unlikely. What's more likely to happen is you'll go into convulsions and get rushed to the hospital -- just ask Demi Moore.
Governor Andrew Cuomo already has banned synthetic marijuana (meaning police can confiscate it), and the state Senate already has passed legislation that adds criminal penalties for anyone caught selling or possessing faux-weed. In other words, it seems there's a pretty good chance that New York will actually make fake weed more illegal than real weed.
Given the one potentially fatal difference between the two, we want to know what you think: should fake weed be more illegal than actual week?
Cast your vote below.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.