YORKTOWN, N.Y. –Assembly member Steve Katz (R,C,I-Yorktown) voted in favor of a bill this week that decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana less than a month after accepting a plea deal to dismiss a marijuana possession charge against himself.
Katz voted in favor of a bill that would make public possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana punishable the same as private possession of the same amount, according to the bill proposed by democratic assemblyman Karim Camara. Katz was charged March 14 with unlawful possession of marijuana and issued a ticket to appear in court and later accepted a plea deal to complete 20 hours of community service and stay out of trouble for six months.
Katz issued a statement on his reasons for supporting the bill.
“This bill works to close loopholes in the Marijuana Reform Act of 1977 and seeks to reduce the costs associated with marijuana violations on our justice system,” Katz said in an emailed statement sent to various media outlets. “Rather than requiring excessive time and effort by our police force to deal with a small amount of marijuana, violators will be issued a ticket for a court date, which law enforcement has indicated will bring clarity to the current policy and make enforcement easier. While this bill does not change much of our current law, it is my hope that this bill will promote a broader discussion of our state's policies.”
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