Notorious medical marijuana-opponent, New York State Assemblyman Stephen Katz,
was arrested and charged with possession of what was deemed a “small bag of marijuana” after getting pulled over at a police traffic checkpoint on the New York State Thruway early Friday morning. Initially the assemblyman was stopped due to a speeding infraction, which would only lead to more problems after the trooper who conducted the traffic stop smelled a strong odor of what appeared to be marijuana. Subsequently enough, the trooper found Katz to be in possession of a bag of what many call the most common illicit drug used in the United States. In a brief contemptuous statement released by Katz following his arrest, he is dauntless in saying that he is “confident that once the facts are presented, that this will quickly be put to rest.”
Known by many as an assertive force against the legalization of medical marijuana, Katz serves as a member of the New York State Assembly’s Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, Higher Education Committee and has a history of voting against any propositions to legalize medical marijuana, as he did in 2011 when an initiative was contemplated.
Assemblyman Katz was not handcuffed and was immediately released following his arrest, but is scheduled to see his day in court on Thursday, March 28th. Aside from being considered a political newcomer among most in the states’ chamber, Stephen Katz is also a prominent veterinarian who earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and has served as a field researcher for the World Wildlife Fund, as well as assistant director of the Hai Bar Biblical Wildlife Preserve. He has been a veterinarian in private practice since 1989, all while maintaining a residence in the Mohegan Lake region of Yorktown, New York.
Although Assemblyman Katz is not looking at any major time in a corrections facility, he must still carry a violation that burdens one with a punishment of paying fines up to $285. Sources said that Katz was charged with the unlawful possession of marijuana, which can be possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana and is considered lower than a misdemeanor. If in fact the assemblyman pleads guilty, he will not receive a criminal record, he will only be responsible for the fines he has been issued.
As for now, Katz hopes that this little hiccup will not greatly “overshadow” the work that he has put into the last couple years of his political career for both the public and his own constituency. The hypocrisy exposed from his recent legal miscue presents a valid argument that is best stated from the mouth of Brooklyn State Senator Marty Golden, who said you need to “be true to yourself” and if you are fond of marijuana and smoke marijuana, you at least have to vote for it and support it.
Story via MarijuanaDoctors.com