News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said Wednesday he’s opposed to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
And, in doing so, he generated a hard-to-shake image.
Skelos said that “the way it is drafted,” Cuomo’s proposal sets the possession threshold too high — possessing up to 25 grams of marijuana would be a violation, rather than a misdemeanor as current law dictates. Besides, he said the controversy — largely a New York City issue — didn’t center on amounts but rather on what happens when a cop tells a suspect to empty his pockets, revealing a joint and then the officer charges him with a misdemeanor because the suspect “publicly displayed” marijuana.
Skelos said the legislative fix should focus on the “instruction” issue but not address possession amounts.
“If the question was emptying out your pockets and that becoming a misdemeanor, then I think we can work with him,” Skelos said of Cuomo. “It should be a violation” not a misdemeanor.
Then, folding his fingers together as if gripping a cigarette and moving his hand behind his ear, Skelos continued: “But being able to just walk around with 10 joints in each ear and that only be a violation I think that’s wrong.”