Cuomo pushes to lessen marijuana possession penalties

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to introduce legislation that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.The proposed legislation would make possession a violation

BROOKLYN - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to introduce legislation that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The proposed legislation would make possession a violation rather than a misdemeanor for people caught with small amounts when stopped and frisked by police.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly says he approves of the plan because it allows officers to focus their efforts on catching tougher criminals. Those caught with 25 grams or less of marijuana would have to pay a fine instead of being arrested.

The changed penalty would not affect anyone caught smoking marijuana or having it in plain sight, both of which would still carry misdemeanor charges.

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