|Surprise, surprise! More gutless non-leadership from the Party of No
Senate Republicans and Conservative Party Break With Top Law Enforcement Officials to Kill Legislation Clarifying Marijuana Possession Laws; Measure Supported by Cuomo, Bloomberg, NYPD Commissioner, District Attorneys Throughout State
Over 50,000 Needless Arrests Cost Taxpayers $75 million a Year, Undermine Ability of Youth to Gain Employment; Majority Leader Skelos and Conservative Party Leader Mike Long Apparently Believe Wasteful, Unlawful, Racially Biased Arrests is “Right Message” for “Youngsters”
Operations Order by Commissioner Kelly Has Proven To Be Ineffective; Advocates, Community Groups and Elected Officials Vow to Continue Fight for Legislation That Ensures Equity, Fairness and Fiscal Responsibility
Monday night, lawmakers in Albany failed to reach agreement on legislation to reduce the staggering number of unlawful, biased arrests for marijuana possession in New York.
The proposal, unveiled by Governor Andrew Cuomo two weeks ago and introduced in the Assembly by Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries, was widely seen as a responsible measure to address the inconsistency and unfairness in the marijuana possession laws in New York. Yet Senate Republicans refused to take up the matter, appearing shaken, intimidated and frightened by threats from Conservative Party Leader Mike Long, who declared he would pull the Conservative Party line from anyone who supported the measure.
The Senate – in what can only be called a stunning failure of leadership – then refused to take up the legislation, undermining reform. Because of inaction in the Senate, tens of thousands of people, predominately young men of color, will continue to be needlessly funneled through the criminal justice system at an expense of tens of millions of dollars to state taxpayers and untold damage to the relationships between law enforcement and communities in New York.