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Cuomo: Limit small marijuana arrests

June 4, 2012 at 8:23 PM

NEW YORK, June 4 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday he supports Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's call to limit the number of people arrested for small amounts of marijuana.

In a news conference Monday, Cuomo proposed a state law to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view as a result of police stops, The New York Times reported.

New York City police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly had issued a directive to officers in September not to arrest people who take small amounts of marijuana out of their pocket when stopped by police. Cuomo said a law in the books saying as much would eliminate confusion.

"I think it puts the police in an awkward position to tell them: enforce some laws, don't enforce other laws."

"This is nice and clean: change the law, period," the governor said at the news conference.

Bloomberg, who had previously backed such arrests as a way to deter more serious crime, said Cuomo's proposal "strikes the right balance" because it would still allow police to arrest people caught smoking marijuana in public, the Times reported.

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