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1 US NY: Brooklyn Prosecutor's Plan Could Wipe Out 20,000 PotFri, 07 Sep 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Peltz, Jennifer Area:New York Lines:91 Added:09/07/2018

Tens of thousands of low-level marijuana convictions could be erased with the OK of Brooklyn's top prosecutor, under a new plan for wiping records clean of offenses no longer being prosecuted in parts of the nation's biggest city.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Friday he is inviting people to request conviction dismissals. He expects prosecutors will consent in the great majority of a potential 20,000 cases since 1990 and an unknown number of older ones.

To Gonzalez, whose office has stopped prosecuting most cases involving people accused of having small amounts of pot, it's only right to nix convictions that wouldn't be pursued now.

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2 US NY: Column: A Real Live Skunk Smells Just As SweetSun, 24 Jun 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Bellafante, Ginia Area:New York Lines:101 Added:06/24/2018

A few years ago when I served on the board of the co-op building where I live in Brooklyn Heights - a fact suggesting a degree of squareness so profound it should discredit my authority to go on - my next-door neighbor came to me with recurring complaints that her apartment, at various points, but mostly in the evenings, reeked of pot (that, children, is what we of the Atari generation call it) so intensely that it seemed as if someone had come in and lit up right on her sofa. That her oldest daughter began to worry that she was getting a contact high while she was doing her homework made me despair for a generation and suggested that perhaps a certain unwarranted hysteria had taken hold. Then one night, at a moment of extreme fragrancy, my neighbor texted and asked me to come over and take a sniff for myself, and it seemed as if I had walked into a commune in the Redwoods sometime between the Tet offensive and the presidency of Gerald Ford.

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3 US NY: Editorial: New York's Small Step On Pot Isn't EnoughThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:73 Added:06/21/2018

New York City's Police Department suffered a major embarrassment this spring when a New York Times investigation demolished the department's claim that people of color were more likely than others to be arrested on petty marijuana charges, because citizens in their communities complained more about pot smoking. The investigation found that even when complaints were factored in, the police nearly always arrested people at a higher rate in black areas.

A new policy Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday will lead to fewer people being arrested for smoking marijuana in public. But the new approach - in which officers would usually issue summonses instead of hauling people off to jail - does not address the core problem of racial inequality and poses new dangers.

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4 US NY: NYPD Will Start Using Summonses, Not Arrests, For MarijuanaTue, 19 Jun 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Sisak, Michael R. Area:New York Lines:91 Added:06/19/2018

A marijuana user poses a joint over some ground marijuana Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010 in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona voters were literally split evenly on the issue of allowing marijuana use for medical purposes, leaving the proposition far too close to call.

A marijuana user poses a joint over some ground marijuana Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010 in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona voters were literally split evenly on the issue of allowing marijuana use for medical purposes, leaving the proposition far too close to call. (Matt York / AP)

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5 US NY: Legalize Pot In New York? A State Panel Says YesMon, 18 Jun 2018
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Precious, Tom Area:New York Lines:145 Added:06/18/2018

ALBANY -- A Cuomo administration panel will recommend New York State legalize recreational use of marijuana, the state's health commissioner said Monday.

But the long-awaited report by the group has still not been released as the State Legislature looks to end its 2018 session on Wednesday -- leaving action for this year on the matter all but impossible.

Dr. Howard Zucker, the state's top health regulator, said public health, law enforcement and others inside and outside government, have been examining the issue of marijuana legalization since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo asked for a study on the issue in January.

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6 US NY: Marijuana Policy Change Is Said To Be ConsideredTue, 15 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:223 Added:05/19/2018

The district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn are weighing plans to stop prosecuting the vast majority of people arrested on marijuana charges, potentially curbing the consequences of a law that in New York City is enforced most heavily against black and Hispanic people.

The Brooklyn district attorney's office, which in 2014 decided to stop prosecuting many low-level marijuana cases, is considering expanding its policy so that more people currently subject to arrest on marijuana charges, including those who smoke outside without creating a public nuisance, would not be prosecuted, one official familiar with the discussions said.

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7 US NY: Making Sense Of Marijuana ArrestsMon, 14 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:103 Added:05/19/2018

If you've walked around New York City lately, there's a good chance you've smelled weed. People smoke walking their dogs in the West Village, and they smoke in apartment building lobbies in the South Bronx. They smoke outside bars and restaurants and in the park.

White people largely don't get arrested for it. Black and Hispanic people do, despite survey after survey saying people of most races smoke at similar rates.

So after a senior police official recently testified to the City Council that there was a simple justification - he said more people call 911 and 311 to complain about marijuana smoke in black and Hispanic neighborhoods - we decided to dig into the numbers the New York Police Department gave lawmakers to support that claim.

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8 US NY: Deblasio Directs Police Dept. To End 'unnecessary' MarijuanaWed, 16 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:142 Added:05/19/2018

After years of halting steps, top prosecutors and elected officials in New York City on Tuesday made a sudden dash toward ending many of the marijuana arrests that for decades have entangled mostly black and Hispanic people.

The plans, still unwritten and under negotiation, will rise or fall on the type of conduct involving marijuana that officials decide should still warrant arrest and prosecution. The changes appear likely to create a patchwork of prosecution policies across the city's five boroughs, and are unlikely to restrict police officers from stopping and searching people on suspicion of possessing a drug that is now legal in a number of states.

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9 US NY: Marijuana Cases In New York City Reveal Race GapMon, 14 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:235 Added:05/19/2018

They sit in courtroom pews, almost all of them young black men, waiting their turn before a New York City judge to face a charge that no longer exists in some states: possessing marijuana. They tell of smoking in a housing project hallway, or of being in a car with a friend who was smoking, or of lighting up a Black & Mild cigar the police mistake for a blunt.

There are many ways to be arrested on marijuana charges, but one pattern has remained true through years of piecemeal policy changes in New York: The primary targets are black and Hispanic people.

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10 US NY: Editorial: Stop-And-Frisk's Legacy In Marijuana ArrestsTue, 15 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:78 Added:05/15/2018

The New York Police Department has claimed that more black and Latino people are arrested for petty marijuana offenses because complaints are more voluminous in neighborhoods where black and Latino people predominantly live. That excuse was blown apart this weekend by a Times investigation showing that the complaints about marijuana use do not fully account for the racial arrest gap - and that, when complaints were held constant, "the police almost always made arrests at a higher rate in the area with more black citizens."

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11 US NY: CNN's Gupta Urges Sessions To Back Medical MarijuanaThu, 26 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)          Area:New York Lines:27 Added:05/01/2018

NEW YORK -- CNN's medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has taken the unusual step of publicly urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reconsider his opposition to medical marijuana, particularly as a way to fight the opioid epidemic.

Gupta wrote a public letter to Sessions, saying that he had changed his mind on the use of medical marijuana, and he's certain Sessions can, too. Research and talking to people who say marijuana has eased pain and weaned them off opioids convinced him.

It's an unusual step for a journalist to move into advocacy, by sending a letter to the attorney general. But Gupta says he believes this falls into the category of telling truth to power.

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12 US NY: Nixon: Support For Legalizing Marijuana Use A Racial IssueWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Carola, Chris Area:New York Lines:79 Added:04/16/2018

A week after telling two interviewers her support for legalizing recreational use of marijuana in New York was revenue-based, Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon said Wednesday that it's now foremost a racial justice issue for her.

The "Sex and the City" star posted a 90-second video on YouTube in which she stated that it's time New York joined eight other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

"There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but for me, it comes down to this: we have to stop putting people of color in jail for something that white people do with impunity," Nixon said.

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13 US NY: Cuomo Considers Legalizing Recreational MarijuanaWed, 17 Jan 2018
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Besecker, Aaron Area:New York Lines:58 Added:01/17/2018

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday called for the creation of a state panel to advise him on whether New York should legalize recreational marijuana.

Cuomo did not specifically embrace a legalization effort, and said the advisory group, which will include State Police representation, is meant to get to the "facts" of the issue.

"I think we should fund (Department of Health) to do a study, let them work with the State Police, other agencies, look at the health impact, the economic impact, the state of the law. If it was legalized in Jersey and it was legal in Massachusetts and the federal government allowed it to go ahead, what would that do to New York because it's right in the middle?" Cuomo said.

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14 US NY: Giambra Sees Legalized Pot As Transit Funding SourceMon, 15 Jan 2018
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:McCarthy, Robert J. Area:New York Lines:73 Added:01/15/2018

Just a few weeks ago, Joel A. Giambra the lobbyist was working the State Capitol's hallways advocating the legalization of marijuana.

Now he works a different Capitol angle as a Republican hopeful for governor, proposing that legalized and tightly regulated marijuana sales represent the best way to address the state's massive infrastructure and mass transit needs.

"I'm saying raising taxes is not the solution," he said during a Monday press conference on Niagara Street. "My job would be to convince the Legislature that this is the most appropriate way to deal with this particular problem of infrastructure."

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15US NY: Medical Marijuana Companies Sue NY Health Department OnTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Robinson, David Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/07/2018

The five medical marijuana companies in New York have filed a lawsuit to block new cannabis businesses, claiming the growth threatens to kill the fledgling industry that has struggled to sell the drug to critically ill patients.

The lawsuit seeks to stop the state Department of Health from allowing five new companies to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York. The companies in the legal fight include Vireo Health and Etain, which are selling cannabis-based drugs at dispensaries in downtown White Plains and Yonkers, The Journal News/lohud has learned from court records. There is also a dispensary in Kingston, Ulster County.

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