Support grows for change in marijuana laws

Dec 27, 2016

No members of the Buffalo Common Council have been willing to take the Buffalo Cannabis Act off the table of its Legislation Committee, despite periodic appearances of local marijuana supporters asking for legal changes.

Several groups, including WNY NORML, are pushing for changes in how New York State deals with marijuana possession.
Credit WNY NORML Facebook page

The proposed law would require police to issue an appearance ticket rather than arrest someone who possesses less than 25 grams of marijuana.

"It would save us so much money, on judges, lawyers, jailers, police officers," argued Sky Saintmartha.

"That's all I'm asking and I'm sure all of these people have better ways to spend their time and our money."

The supporters say state records report there were 400 arrests by Buffalo police in the last year for possession of less than 25 grams.

Robb Nesbitt told a recent committee appearance he has a youthful arrest record for possession but is a solid citizen and helps his community. Nesbitt said decriminalization of marijuana would help a lot of people.

"Most people who are naive enough to get caught with it are going to be young. I was young and you interrupt their life very early over something that can be rather inconsequential," Nesbitt said.

"I have minor effect of an epileptic type of condition and depression. Both of which marijuana has ameliorated greatly."

Other speakers have been pushing for the state to make medical marijuana more readily available and want Albany to be clearer about the changes in the state's medical pot law which are slated to take effect with the new year, to help those who would benefit from the drug.