Welcome to installment number 34 in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog. This past week here in NYC witnessed the first non-stop, uninterrupted week of hot weather (finally), the launch of the wonderful new CitiBike bike share program to mostly positive feedback (more on this in a future NY Amoeblog), new NYPD released statistics that the subways are safer than ever with robberies on the mass transit system (typically iPhone grab and runs by opportunist thieves) down 30% from this time last year. And while this past week's tabloid news of Amanda Bynes getting in trouble for weed smoking and bong tossing in New York City dominated most headlines, on Monday up in the state capital of Albany the New York State Assembly passed a medical marijuana bill (for the fourth time) that would allow medical marijuana, passing with a 95-38 vote.
If this new medical marijuana bill makes it through the Senate New Yorkers with "severely debilitating or life-threatening conditions" can be legally prescribed weed by their doctors. As it stands now the difference in attitude towards weed (medical and recreational) in NYC and such California cities as Los Angeles or Oakland is like night and day and has been such since the early 90's. It is radically different here with the NYPD enforcing a zero-tolerance towards any public weed activity. It has been this way ever since the reign of Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani who initiated the "broken window" theory which meant that that small crimes like weed smoking in public (once a common non-issue thing in NYC) were now an arrestable offense. People get arrested in NYC and thrown in jail for the weekend over half a joint and many of these are young black and Latino males who fall into the net of the NYPD's controversial, often illegal 'stop-and-frisk' program whereby the cops randomly stop someone for no reason other than they fit a profile, have them empty their pockets, and arrest them for small amounts of pot.