One man’s simple search for the perfect art project turned into a battle with New York City Courts.
This week, a Manhattan appeals court overturned a $2,000 fine issued in 2011 to a Brooklyn carpenter, Albert Prince, for taking a TV antenna from the side of a curb. Yes, you read that right.
The illogic of New York’s marijuana laws has been evident for some time and was summed up nicely by Governor Cuomo.
If you’re caught with a small amount of pot—25 grams or less—in your backpack, the penalty is a $100 fine (for the first offense). But if a police officer asks you to empty your pockets and you pull out a small bag of weed, you are subject to arrest on a misdemeanor. Why? Because by taking the pot out of your pocket, you exposed it to “public view.”
It just doesn’t make sense, especially when you consider the police officers routinely order people to empty their pockets during stop-and-frisk operations. Mr. Cuomo’s proposal will correct this inequity by decriminalizing possession of 25 grams or less in public view. Legislators should pass this measure quickly.