Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: New York Ain't Like the Rest When It Comes to Marijuana


The Pot I know and love


Pot in New York is still Evil


As the rest of the United States legalizes, decriminalizes, medicalizes, and promotes the safety of pot New York remains a hold out of the dangers and evils of marijuana. We practice in Ithaca, NY and it's environs and we still hear and see all this old time rhetoric. Pot is evil, weed is bad, and the public must be protected.

This was all recently evidenced by a Upstate New York marijuana case in Lockport, NY. Just for a point of reference Lockport is close to Rochester, NY, and is another one of those sleepy little towns. People v. Miller  (Lockport Court, Niagara County New York) was just decided in September of this year.

The story of the teacher, the bird, and the trooper. 




So there was this school teacher, well educated, just driving along Upstate who hits a bird. Because she is also a trained and certified wildlife rehabiltator, you can't make this stuff up, she gets out of her car to help this poor bird.

Along comes a NYS trooper to investigate why someone is stopped in the middle of the road. Well then you have the odor of marijuana, and the confessions of a tearful teacher. I smoked early this morning, have some roaches in my ashtray, and almost an oz. in my makeup bag. Nice confession, anyway, she's charged with Unlawful Possession of Marijuana 221.05, and set for a Court date in Lockport.

Ms. Miller represented herself, and moved the court to Dismiss the Charge in the Interests of Justice. This was a bold move. Getting a complete dismissal like this with a marijuana offense is usually not going to happen. The Court and prosecutor offered an ACD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal), since she qualified under the statute for marijuana ACD, which just means they would completely dismiss the charges if she stayed out of trouble for 6 months.

Miller's Marijuana Motion to Dismiss in the Interests of Justice was a FAIL


Ms. Miller had to put her motion to dismiss in writing, and then present it to the court. Just so you have an understanding of where marijuana currently stands in New York State, see the judge's opinion on her motion to dismiss in the interests of justice:

The Defendant does not understand that marihuana could cause harm to her physically and mentally and to the public in general.2

The bottom line here is Miller would not accept the statutory dismissal (the ACD) of this charge because she could not have anything pending while she applied for a certification to teach. Miller would have this Court exercise its discretion and dismiss the charge for someone, who freely admitted she smoked a little marihuana in the morning, had some roaches in her ash tray and less than an ounce of marijuana hidden in her glass case in her purse, so she would be able to enter our classrooms to teach our children (emphasis mine).

This Court does not deem this case reaches to the level to exercise its extraordinary interest of justice discretion to dismiss. Accordingly, the Defendant's motion is in all respects denied. 

As if the court wasn't disturbed by the marijuana smoking teacher enough, the Court added this, comparing pot to Heroin and LSD under Federal law:

2. As of August 11, 2016 the Federal DEA reaffirmed marihuana as a Schedule 1 Drug comparing the same to heroin or LSD. Under Federal law, which is not being enforced by the U.S. Attorney, possession of marihuana is a crime.

People Visiting, Living in, or Working in New York State that Smoke Grass Better Wake UP


As you can see New York state and it's courts are a long way off from other states like California, Colorado, and Washington. We are far off from most of the other states when it comes to marijuana and it's prosecution. Those thinking that having New York medical marijuana is going to change these opinions are sadly mistaken. Many judges may feel like this one that pot is way worse or as bad as alcohol. Is it the great danger to the public and people, in my opinion it is not but I'm not the legislature or the government.