April 28, 2021 03:30 pm ETEstimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Lady Liberty just got a little greener in the state of New York. New York’s recent cannabis legalization has ended their decades-long support of draconian federal cannabis prohibition. The 99th mayor of New York City, Fiorello Henry LaGuardia, would be pleased to see the will of the people finally fulfilled. The 1944 LaGuardia Committee reports on cannabis went against the US federal government and their drive of reefer madness. Back in 1944, this report which was commissioned by the New York Academy of Medicine disputed much of the rhetoric and disillusioned information of prohibitionists. The 1944 LaGuardia committee reports found that juvenile delinquency was not associated with smoking cannabis.
Cannabis was not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes. Marijuana smoking was not widespread among school children. Publicity over the catastrophic effects of smoking cannabis in New York City was unfounded. The sale and distribution of marijuana are not under the control of any single organized group. The practice of cannabis smoking does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word. The report went on to address many of the unfounded concerns and issues brought forth by Harry J Anslinger. I encourage you to read more about the findings of the 1944 LaGuardia report on marijuana.
Recreational Cannabis Legalization in New York
New York actually flipped the script on cannabis prohibition. Citizens in the state of New York were previously not allowed to consume cannabis, especially in public. This resulted in numerous arrests. Now, that has all changed. Any place you can smoke a cigarette, you can consume cannabis. According to an article by the New York Post, a 4-page memo also lets officers know they cannot approach, stop, or detain a parolee for smoking or possessing cannabis.
Instead, they are to notify the relevant parole officer. Interestingly enough, if an individual has a medical cannabis card while being incarcerated, they might have a right to cannabis. A landmark case in New Mexico recently clarified that medical cannabis patients rather incarcerated or serving house arrest, must have access to medical cannabis. The representative and lawyer that helped win this case said this is something that should be enforced nationwide, and they are pushing efforts to make sure it happens.
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Cops in New York are going to have to forget all about weed. They used to be able to bust people and ruin their lives because they claimed they smelled some weed. Not anymore. This is no longer considered to be a viable excuse for searching, arresting, or detaining citizens. People can consume cannabis on the sidewalk, sitting on their porch, or anywhere else in public that cigarette smoking is permitted. The memo issued the police officers even states that consuming cannabis “in any of these locations is not a basis for an approach, stop, summons, arrest or search.”
An Apparent Issue Made Clearly Obvious
A source for the NYPD was quoted telling media, “we always say, drugs equals guns. When you smell weed you could pull a car over now you can’t pull them over.” Now it’s clear to see why so many people were harassed in the state of New York. With law enforcement thinking like this, why don’t they just come out and say anyone who has cannabis is a criminal in their eyes? We are going to treat you like one regardless. I consume cannabis and never have a gun on me. To treat me like I carry a gun or have a gun on me because some other individual does is an infringement of my constitutional rights. The fact that a statement like this was made by an NYPD source shows we have major issues within our policing force in America. However, police officers are making this issue blatantly apparent on their own.
With New York ending their support of federal cannabis prohibition and embracing cannabis legalization, citizens can finally enjoy cannabis freely without the fear of police harassment. All Americans deserve equality. But, sadly, these days, our equality seems to be determined by the thoughts of a handful of elected representatives. A handful who all too often support their own agendas rather than supporting the will of the people that elected them. This must change. America deserves better than this. New York is proof that it can happen, even if it takes financial turmoil to prevail over doing the right thing.
Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist that fights to end prohibition globally for a better future for all. Ashley has a passion for sharing education pertaining to the goddess plant known as cannabis. She believes that a single seed can tip the scales and that together through education we can end the stigma that is preventing cannabis from flowering to its full potential globally.
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