Mike Bloomberg on Drugs
Mayor of New York City (Independent)
BLOOMBERG: Look, the first thing you do is we should not make this a criminal thing if you have a small amount. For dealers, yes, but for the average person, no, and you should expunge the records of those that got caught up in this before. Number two, we're not going to take it away from states that have already done it. But, number three, you should listen to the scientists and the doctors. They say go very slowly. They haven't done enough research. And the evidence so far is worrisome, before we get all our kids, particularly kids in their late teens, boys even more than girls, where this may be damaging their brains. Until we know the science, it's just nonsensical to push ahead. But the cat's out of the bag. So some states have it, you're not going to take it away. Get rid of the--decriminalize the possession.
The crackdown on marijuana crimes in New York has taken place during the term of Michael Bloomberg, who when asked if he had used marijuana responded, "You bet I did, and I enjoyed it." The injustice of a white man--one who has admitted to using, and enjoying, marijuana--overseeing the most zealous campaign of marijuana prosecution in the world (no other city prosecutes more of its citizens for this offense), one that ends up disproportionately impacting Blacks and Latinos, is glaring. And to add insult to injury, New Yorkers must pay, through taxes, the price to make all of these arrests. The cost of prosecuting this offense in New York City alone is estimated to range from $53 million to $88 million annually.
Bloomberg's anti-smoking campaign infuriated barkeeps, worried the tourism industry, and frustrated protective mayoral aides who worried about championing a smoking ban with the city still in recession and recovering from 9/11. The policy was fine with them, but not the timing.
"The Mommy Mayor," thundered a New York Post editorial. "Nanny Bloomberg" complained a headline in the Wall Street Journal.
Bloomberg persisted and, ultimately, the gamble paid off. Bars and restaurants survived, and public opposition dwindled. The number of adult smokers declined by 350,000 New Yorkers in 7 years, attributed as much to sharp increases in city, state and federal cigarette taxes that ultimately brought the cost of a pack in NY to $10 as to the new law.
“I’m not thrilled they’re using my name. I suppose there’s that First Amendment that gets in the way of me stopping it,“ Bloomberg told reporters when informed of the NORML ads graced with His Honor’s face and attributing the quote to him. But Bloomberg added that the NYPD will continue to vigorously enforce the laws. The campaign includes a full-page ad in the New York Times, as well as posters for bus stops, buses, and phone booths. There are also two 60-second radio ads that will be played by the top stations in the city.
|Other big-city mayors on Drugs:||Mike Bloomberg on other issues:|
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)