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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is admitting defeat when it comes to his proposal to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession in public.
Referring to the widely differing responses state lawmakers had to the proposal, Cuomo said Tuesday, "I think the Senate got a lot of blowback, pardon the pun." The legislative session is scheduled to finish on Thursday.
The New York Times notes that the disagreement among the state's legislature splits along partisan lines, but also among racial and geographical ones. The Democrats, who hold majority in the State Assembly, have a sizeable representation of black and Latino lawmakers from New York City, who argee with Cuomo that the proposal will reduce the number of arrests from stop-and-frisks in New York City.
As The Root explains, the city's stop-and-frisk policy leads to a disproportionate number of arrests of New York City's minority residents. The proposal would have removed one reportedly common cause for arrest after a stop-and-frisk: the possession of a small amount of marijuana.
But in the Senate, Republicans are in charge. They're mostly white and from districts outside of the city. Recalling the tone of War On Drugs PSAs, Republican Senator John J. Flanagan said that "marijuana still is a gateway drug to so many other much more dangerous things." Ultimately, Senate opposition to the proposal made it impossible to pass.
The proposal had the support of Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD.