ALBANY -- Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn/Manhattan), who is the Senate sponsor of legislation to reform the in-plain-view marijuana statute, released the following statement upon the Governor's State of the State address:
"The Governor's medical marijuana proposal represents a real step toward addressing our broken marijuana policy. It is also critical that we continue the fight to finally pass legislation to reform the in-plain-view statute and the inconsistent way it's enforced, and finally end the unacceptable racial disparities that current marijuana criminalization creates.
"There is a fundamental reality: a large number of people carry small amounts of marijuana. Yet the vast majority who get criminal records for marijuana possession are young Black and Latino men.
"Black New Yorkers in Brooklyn and Manhattan are nine times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white New Yorkers. That's absolutely unacceptable -- and none of us should accept living in a place where race, gender, and age define whether certain behavior is a criminal act or not.
"That's why I applaud the Governor for moving medical marijuana forward, and urge action on in-plain-view as well."