In an effort to persuade New York lawmakers to support Governor Andrew
Cuomo’s push to decriminalize “public view” marijuana arrests, a drug
policy group has started a video campaign to illustrate how people are
getting screwed by a loophole in the Marijuana Reform Act, which
(supposedly) decriminalized weed in the Empire State in 1979.
stands, if you’re busted with weed in private, you’ve committed a
violation that’s about as serious a crime as a parking ticket. However,
if you’re caught with weed in public, it’s a misdemeanor. The loophole
has led to the disproportionate arrests of young minorities (of the
roughly 50,000 people arrested each year in New York for
low-level marijuana offenses, 87 percent are black or Hispanic).
Drug Policy Alliance has put together a 15-part series of interviews
with people explaining how they were screwed by the “public view”
portion of New York’s marijuana law. Hear the stories of Patrick Exume below — and check back tomorrow for the next installment New Yorker’s Screwed By “Public View” Weed Laws.