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Smaller Pot Penalty in NY?

Smaller Pot Penalty in NY?

 ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's Assembly has passed legislation to reduce the penalty for publicly holding a small amount of marijuana, but the proposal Gov. Andrew Cuomo hopes will curb stop-and-frisk arrests in New York City remains unlikely to pass in the Senate.

The Assembly's bill would reduce public possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana to a ticket, the same as private possession. Smoking marijuana in public is a misdemeanor.

Assemblyman Karim Camara says the current law disproportionately hits young minority men in New York City. He says many are charged after following police instructions to empty their pockets during a stop-and-frisk by police.

Assemblyman Steve Katz, a Hudson Valley Republican who recently had a marijuana possession charge dropped as long as he completes public service, supported the measure.