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Cuomo proposes decriminalizing marijuana possession

Jan 13, 2017 12:02 am

Matthew Hamilton is reporting at Capitol Confidential Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to decriminalize possession of marijuana -- again. The proposal was a part of his 2017 State of the State plans, but only revealed when his full agenda was published online Wednesday night. In 2012, Cuomo proposed decriminalizing possession while maintaining that smoking marijuana would stay illegal. The governor did not go into the details of his new plan, but it was clear the proposal is aimed at individual users, not dealers. According to Cuomo’s office, in 2016 nearly 90 percent of marijuana violations were for possession, not sale. “Whereas other states have sought the full legalization of marijuana, this legislative change will specifically affect individual users and not reduce penalties on those who illegally supply and sell marijuana,” the governor's State of the State book stated. In all, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana, including New York neighbor Massachusetts. The state's medical marijuana program is among the most tightly regulated in the country; it does not allow for smokeable forms of the drug. Read the full story at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.