NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
LESLIE BARBARO/NEWSDAY WESTCHESTER
New York Assemblyman Steve Katz was busted for marijuana possession last month.
The fight for saner marijuana laws has a new poster boy in Albany: Westchester Assemblyman Steve Katz.
As you may have read — or seen mocked on “The Daily Show” — Katz is the conservative Republican state lawmaker who managed to get himself busted for marijuana possession last month.
According to the official account of the state police, a trooper clocked the pol doing 80 m.p.h. up the Thruway, pulled him over, smelled pot and “found Katz in possession of a small bag of marijuana.”
Keep in mind, this happened around 10 a.m. on a weekday. Katz was en route to Albany for a day of committee meetings and floor votes — a situation that gave rise to endless “wake, bake and legislate” jokes around the Capitol.
Politically, it was a major embarrassment, especially since Katz has voted against letting sick people use marijuana for pain relief — even with a doctor’s permission.
Legally, though, the bust turned out to be no big deal. The trooper chose not to run a sobriety test or charge Katz with driving under the influence. Instead, he wrote him up for speeding and unlawful possession of marijuana — a violation that’s equivalent to a traffic ticket — and sent him on his way to write the laws of New York State.
In court last week, the speeding ticket was reduced to a parking violation and the marijuana charge was “adjourned in contemplation of dismissal,” or “ACD” — meaning it goes away completely if he keeps his nose clean for six months.
So long as he pays a $75 fine and does 20 hours of community service, Katz gets to walk away free and clear — with no permanent criminal record.