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NYS Marijuana Bill Appears Dead

Andrew Cuomo

A bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana appears dead for the legislative session , now that Republicans in the Senate say they won’t be acting on the bill.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports… 

Governor Cuomo says it’s “highly unlikely” that his bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana will be taken up by the Senate before the legislative session ends on Thursday, and Senate Leader Dean Skelos confirms that. 

“I’ve said all along that I was not in favor of further decriminalization of marijuana,” Skelos told reporters. 

Cuomo has proposed that public possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana be decriminalized and classified as a violation. The measure is in response to New York City’s stop and frisk law, where opponents say thousands of young black and Hispanic men have been needlessly arrested when small amounts of the drug were found on them by police.  

The governor sys GOP Senators are under “tremendous” political pressure not to pass the bill, but Skelos denies that.

In Albany, I’m Karen DeWitt.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.