New York Bill Would Make Smoking Pot Outside Illegal

It could soon be illegal to smoke marijuana in public if some New York politicians have their way. New York Assemblyman Michael Novakhov and Senator Mario R. Mattera are co-sponsors of a new bill that would ban the public use of cannabis unless a local government opts in to permit such public use. As it currently stands, anywhere you can smoke a cigarette, you can smoke a joint. Despite what you see, smoking in public parks is not permissible.

Senate Bill S7604 was introduced with the purposes of prohibiting the public use of cannabis and if caught, the smoker would incur a $125 fine. Among other reasons, the justification of the proposed bill is to prevent children from being exposed to seeing cannabis smoking at an early age or its smell. Interestingly, the bill cites the secondhand smoke nuisance and potential health hazards of tobacco, but now seeks to differentiate where smoking is permissible.  It appears that the government is still okay with outdoor cigarette smoking near children, but not cannabis; or at least that the government is going after low-hanging fruit while cannabis legislation is in its infancy.

In short, this proposed bill means that prior to smoking in

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