PSA (Public Service Announcement)
I’ve mentioned it before on this site, before it was all trendy, but it bears repeating: Weed is semi-legal in New York; you just can’t have it out in the open, especially if 5-0 is around. If a cop stops you and asks if you have any weed on you, tell him you don’t, even if you do, regardless of what he says.
There’s a law in New York State, dating back to 1977, that makes it legal to have up to seven eighths of an ounce of weed on you, as long as you don’t have it in plain view. You wouldn’t want any kids to know you smoke weed. It’s important that young people have good role models. That’s why I hope everyone who reads this site is at least 25. I don’t need anyone’s parents emailing me talking about how I led their kids astray. (This has actually happened on more than one occasion.)
I’m assuming they decided on the seven eights of an ounce amount to fuck with drug dealers. They figured, if you’ve got enough money to buy an ounce-plus of weed, you’re probably a drug dealer – you’re probably gonna take that ounce-plus and break it down into amounts affordable by school children. And if you’re the kind of person who buys that much weed for your own personal amusement, you’re probably familiar with the law enough to only cop seven eighths of an ounce at a time.
But the latter is hardly an issue, since 5-0 doesn’t really fuck with the kind of people who can afford to stock up, just dumbass kids. If you’re white and you look like you work for a living, the police won’t even bother you in the first place. There’s a story in the current issue of New York magazine, in which a guy talks to a buncha white business class potheads about the pot arrest epidemic in New York, and they acted surprised that weed was even illegal. One guy said he never even heard of someone being arrested for weed.
On the other hand, if you’re black, and you make the mistake of walking down the street, 5-0 will fuck with you, even if you didn’t even do anything. The story in New York mag breaks down why this is the case. 5-0 is just looking for an easy drug bust, to keep their stats up. They prefer potheads, because weed makes you all peaceful and stupids. Drunks and crackheads will try to put up a fight or run, but potheads will damn near arrest themselves.
Here’s how it works: A cop will see you walking down the street, and he’ll figure you’ve probably got weed on you, because you’re not at work and you’re wearing a silly outfit. So, he’ll stop you and ask you if you have anything you’re not supposed to have. And he’ll lie and tell you that, if you do have something, and you don’t pull it out of your pocket now, the consequences will be way worse. So you pull a dime bag of weed out of your pocket, and, bam, your ass is going to jail.
Thing is, you didn’t get busted for having $10 worth of weed, you got busted for having it in plain view. You could have just as easily kept it in your pocket, and, even if the cop frisked you and found it, you’d be within your rights, since it’s legal to have up to seven eighths of an ounce of weed in New York State. A lawyer in the New York mag story said this is textbook entrapment, but what are you gonna do, call the black president and ask him to stand up for your rights? Nigga, please.
You see how Obama went out of his way to dis Kanye. Supposedly, that was meant to be off the record. But if it was meant to be off the record, how in the fuck is it in the paper. You think a reporter could really go up to the president and ask him some shit off the record and then turn around and print it in the newspaper. You could probably get tossed in Gitmo a long time ago. If that was even possible, someone would have tried it a long time ago. We would have found out if Bill Clinton really inhaled marijuana back in the ’70s. Never mind what he said on MTV.
Until we live in a country with laws that are fair, which we won’t, the most important thing you can do is know your rights. We’ve got to get the word out about weed being semi-legal in New York. I’d consider trying to enlist one of these rich rappers, like Jay-Z, to contribute to a PR campaign to explain to kids not to show your weed to the police. You know, really give back to the community. But I know better than to think he’d go for some shit like that. That might offend his political connects.