NY Senate leader: Gov's pot proposal won't pass

By the Associated Press | June 6, 2012 | 3:55 PM EDT

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's Senate majority leader says Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to reduce the penalty for public possession of a small amount of marijuana won't pass his chamber.

Sen. Dean Skelos (SKEH'-lohs), a Long Island Republican, says it's wrong to cut punishment to a simple violation for having up to 25 grams of marijuana in the open.

Skelos says the Senate would work on a narrower measure ensuring that the lesser penalty applies when police order someone with a joint in his pocket to bring it out in the open.

Concealed possession of small amounts is a violation, subject to a ticket and $100 fine, while smoking or public possession rises to a misdemeanor.

Critics say New York City police have used the marijuana law to disproportionately arrest minority youths.