Police officers can often justify a search with six words: "I smelled
an odor of marijuana."
Courts in New York have long ruled if a car smells like marijuana
smoke, the police can search it - and, according to some judges, even
the occupants - without a warrant.
But in late July, a judge in the Bronx said in a scathing opinion that
officers claim to smell marijuana so often that it strains credulity,
and she called on judges across the state to stop letting police
officers get away with lying about it.
[continues 1256 words]
Even as states across the country have legalized marijuana,
potentially opening the door to a multibillion dollar industry, the
impact of marijuana criminalization is still being felt by people -
mostly black and Hispanic - whose records are marked by low-level
convictions related to the drug.
But on Wednesday, New York began the process of expunging many of
those records, as part of a new state law to reduce penalties
associated with marijuana-related crimes, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew
M. Cuomo confirmed.
[continues 780 words]
New York has decriminalised the use of marijuana - becoming the 16th
US state to do so.
The move, which would make possession of a small amount of the drug a
violation rather than a felony, was signed into law by governor Andrew
The measure also demands that criminal records of offences linked to
low-level marijuana cases either be marked as expunged, or destroyed -
an apparent reflection that in the past communities of colour suffered
unduly from different application of the law.
[continues 231 words]
ALBANY - New York's plan to legalize marijuana this year collapsed on
Wednesday, dashing hopes for a potential billion-dollar industry that
supporters said would create jobs in minority communities and end
decades of racially disproportionate policing.
Democratic lawmakers had been in a headlong race to finalize an
agreement before the end of the legislative session this week. But
persistent disagreement about how to regulate the industry, as well as
hesitation from moderate lawmakers, proved insurmountable.
"It is clear now that M.R.T.A. is not going to pass this session,"
Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan said in a statement on Wednesday
morning, using an acronym for the legalization bill she had sponsored.
"We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of
[continues 806 words]
Dr. James S. Ketchum, an Army psychiatrist who in the 1960s conducted
experiments with LSD and other powerful hallucinogens using volunteer
soldiers as test subjects in secret research on chemical agents that
might incapacitate the minds of battlefield adversaries, died on May
27 at his home in Peoria, Ariz. He was 87.
His wife, Judy Ketchum, confirmed the death on Monday, adding that the
cause had not been determined.
Decades before a convention eventually signed by more than 190 nations
outlawed chemical weapons, Dr. Ketchum argued that recreational drugs
favored by the counterculture could be used humanely to befuddle small
units of enemy troops, and that a psychedelic "cloud of confusion"
could stupefy whole battlefield regiments more ethically than the
lethal explosions and flying steel of conventional weapons.
[continues 1413 words]