A Republican New York State Assemblymember who last June voted against legalizing marijuana in the state was ticketed for possession of marijuana, which is still illegal in the state of New York due to political opposition.
Assemblyman Steve Katz, a 59-year-old Republican who voted no last year on a bill to legalize medical marijuana, had been traveling 80 mph on I-87 through Coeymans, N.Y., where the speed limit is 65 mph, state police said. During the speeding stop, police said a trooper noted the odor of marijuana and found Mr. Katz in possession of a small bag.
State police released Mr. Katz with a ticket and ordered him to appear in court on March 28. He didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
Katz did provide comment during the June 2012 vote on legalization. From the Assembly transcript:
[A]s far as the medical marijuana element of this for intractable pain or what have you, you have an answer for that already and truly you can get it if you truly need it. … [The Assembly will address a bill from Gov. Cuomo that would] actually legalize marijuana for 25 grams or less so the reality is — and I'm not a proponent of any of this, but the reality is if you have intractable pain right now you can go — and you're under a doctor's care and you really have a valid reason for getting it, you will get synthetic marijuana right now.
The measure, which passed 90-50 with no Republican votes, never received a vote in the Republican-controlled State Senate, perhaps because of how strongly members of that party object to use of the drug.