In response to an inflated arrest rate under the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practice, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the police chief have endorsed legislation put forward by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would ease the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana in public.

The proposal would make public possession of 25 grams or less of pot a violation, rather than a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $100.

Ryan Devereaux at The Guardian:

Cuomo’s proposal would make the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana in public the same as possessing an equal amount in private, punishable by a maximum fine of $100. Burning or smoking marijuana in public would remain a crime.

“The complication with stop and frisk aggravates the situation,” Cuomo said. “I think this is an issue that people get.”

The governor denied that his proposal was intended to reduce the overall number of stops and called the practice a “well-accepted police strategy”. He added, however, “I think this will actually help the stop-and-frisk” situation.

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— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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