The debate in Albany over a proposal to reduce penalties for possessing marijuana in public is centered around a fascinating debate: How much weed is too much weed?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to make public possession of marijuana punishable by the same violation as private possession of marijuana. Right now, having less than 25 grams of sticky icky in your pocket is a violation; take it out of your pocket (even at the direction of a police officer), and you're up to a heavier misdemeanor charge.
But 25 grams is, indeed, a lot of pot, something that Comedy Central host Jon Stewart and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos agree on.
Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns is concerned about that amount, too.
"You’re going to have people that are carrying around 25 and a half grams of marijuana," Mr. Burns said. "That’s a lot of pot. It’s a big deal."
Twenty-five grams of marijuana is, indeed, a lot. That's not just one serving of marijuana. You couldn't smoke it all in just one sitting.
Sheriff Burns said that the street value of 25 grams of marijuana is about $300. It's even more money for more potent strains.
He's right on, according to this website, which allows marijuana users to post how much they paid for their marijuana.
An ounce of medium-quality pot — about 28 grams — goes for just under $300 in New York, according to the website. The good stuff is $400 for an ounce.
As a quick side note, I should add that the debate over lessening the penalties for regular old pot comes at a time of increasing concern about synthetic marijuana. The state Senate and the U.S. Senate have both passed bills that would make synthetic pot illegal.