New York Cops Still Making Despite Mayor’s Policy, Cannabis Arrests

New York Cops Still Making Cannabis Arrests, Despite Mayor’s Policy

Theyrsquo;re using a loophole to do it.

Scott Hechinger, a senior staff lawyer at Brooklyn Defender Services, one of the town ’s largest public defender agencies, says he’s defending a client who was arrested recently with a cannabis vape pencil. Hechinger drew attention to the situation on Twitter.

According to Hechinger, “THC oil” is classified differently than cannabis leaf. The THC oil at a common vape cartridge, he says, is considered an “rdquo & A; misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail.

Hechinger&rsquo client is a father of two. Prosecutors asked to be set at $25,000–a little more than a week after Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez announced an initiative to divert up to cannabis convictions.

This draconian approach contradicts the spirit and the letter of a lenient approach to marijuana possession announced this summer by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

New York state law draws a distinction between THC and marijuana oil. The NYPD is currently harnessing that loophole.

Additionally, it illustrates a glaring loophole which lets the NYPD to continue to “disproportionately and target and interact with just black and Latino people living in certain areas over something which should not even be criminalized,” said Hechinger.

“The THC oil loophole is only one of several loopholes in the policies, which draw exceptions to the no-arrest coverage for those who have certain criminal records or those on parole, which only replicate the racial disparities that already exist,” Hechinger told Leafly News on Monday.

And “it’s not only the prosecution,&rdquo. “It s NYPD, who’s currently continuing to arrest people for THC oil that is suspected. Which makes little sense given that it’s really of using marijuana a cleaner, safer, less intrusive manner. ”

The NYPD’s office did not respond to messages seeking comment left Monday and Sunday. A telephone message left at the Kings County District Attorney&rsquo. If we get a response leafly News will update this story.

In June, following years of high arrest rates for nonviolent marijuana possession that disproportionately affected people of colour, de Blasio announced that New Yorkers caught with small amounts of cannabis would get a summons to court rather than be detained.

In response, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, and Eric Gonzalez, the Brooklyn district attorney, both announced that they would vacate past misdemeanor marijuana-possession convictions going back decades, and would decline to prosecute new cases.

Oil vs Flower

But New York state law draws a distinction between possession of marijuana oil and marijuana blossom.  The district attorneys of Brooklyn and Manhattan and de Blasio have vowed to stop arresting people for marijuana. But the NYPD and Brooklyn DA’s office have carved out an exception for pens that were vape, considering them a category worthy of a Class A misdemeanor. According to New York State law: “Misdemeanors are grouped into one of three categories: Class A, Class B, or Unclassified. Upon conviction of a Class ‘A’ misdemeanor, a court may sentence an individual to a maximum of one year in jail or three years probation. In addition, twice the sum of the individual & rsquo; s profit from the crime or a fine of up to $ 1,000 might be imposed. ”

This random designation creates a legal loophole which allows police and prosecutors to continue to deal with nonviolent cannabis possession cases like serious offenses, observers say.

Cannabis Is Cannabis

Cannabis oil–of which are the most important part of the battery-and-tank combinations called & ldquo; rdquo & vape pens cartridges;–is your way of consuming cannabis. Celebrity comedian Whoopi Goldberg was so enamored of her vape pencil she wrote it an ode.

And in a twist, rsquo, New York State &;s restrictive medical-marijuana law means that non-flower products like vape pens are a few of the most prevalent products available on the market.

The homepage of dispensary chain MedMen’s New York City location advertises five distinct vape-oil cartridge combinations for sale–exactly the sort of merchandise which are seeing New Yorkers charged with drug possession, according to attorneys like Hechinger.

Stress on Cuomo To Act

Marijuana legalization remains popular in New York State, as it does throughout much of the rest of the nation. But unlike a lot of the rest of the nation –including anyplace cannabis was legalized New York lacks a popular referendum procedure. Issues can be brought by elected officials .

After pressure from pro-legalization challenger Cynthia Nixon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the production of “working groups” which would look at legalizing recreational cannabis. It is unclear how much pressure Cuomo will feel following his easy victory over Nixon in rsquo & Thursday;s Democratic primary.

Published at Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:25:00 +0000

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