Senator Marty Golden urged caution for Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers as attempts to reduce punishment for carrying small quantities of marijuana move forward.
“What is it 25 grams? It’s a lot of pot. I think I’d have some issues with it. I think we’d like to still see the bill before comment on it, but I’m against decriminalization. It’s a gateway drug,” said Golden to LoHud.com.
Golden’s position on possession is unyielding. In 2009, he opposed a law that would amend the controversial Rockefeller drug laws to no longer require a minimum jail sentences on every drug charge.
Golden’s response contrasts Cuomo’s recently revealed plan to change the law in classifying possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view as misdemeanors.
“This is about creating fairness and consistency in our laws. The problem is the law, and the solution is to change the law,” he told Business Week.
The push to lower marijuana charges comes on the heels of New York’s highly criticized stop-and-frisk campaign. Cuomo hopes the measure passes this session, which ends June 21.
Golden mentions recent deaths in his district as a reason for prudence. He added that five people died from prescription drug overdoses.
“I think you have to be very careful when you decriminalize anything, but I’d still like to see the bill,” said Golden.