Katz’s pot case delayed in court

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Assemblyman Steve Katz’s court case on a marijuana possession charge has been delayed until next month.

Katz, R-Yorktown, Westchester County, was set to appear Thursday in Coeymans Town Court, which is south of Albany, after he was charged March 14 with marijuana possession and speeding on the state Thruway ostensibly on his way to the Capitol at about 10 a.m.

Court officials and his attorney, Susan Chana Lask, confirmed the delay. Katz’s case is set to be heard April 25 at 9 a.m.

“It is on for a conference,” Lask said in an email today. “Procedurally, every case gets conferenced so both sides can discuss the matter before appearing in court. In the meantime, Assemblyman Katz is focusing on his important work for the people of the state of New York.”

Katz, a second-term lawmaker, has not commented about his drug charge, except for issuing and reading a statement after State Police announced the charges a day after it happened.

Records obtained last week by Gannett’s Albany Bureau showed that Katz allegedly had an 1/8 of an ounce of marijuana in his 2009 Subaru and two empty plastic bags. He was stopped for driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone, police said.

In his statement after the charges were made public, Katz, a veterinarian, called it “an unfortunate incident,” and “I am confident that once the facts are presented that this will quickly be put to rest.”

Katz has opposed the legalization of medical marijuana in New York and has put out statements to warn against illegal drugs in his district, which stretches between Westchester and Putnam counties.

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23 Comments

  1. Yorktown Parent on

    The statement that Katz has not commented about his drug charge, is not true.

    The Westchester Examiner has written that Katz said to a senior citizen at a senior citizen forum. That it was just a ticket.

    This type of response shows that he is out of touch with the people in Yorktown.

    How can a man vote against medical marijuana to help sick people. Then he gives the Black Market money on the inside to get his own marijuana.

    Where did you purchase the marijuana, Mr. Katz, because that is a separate crime.

    It is incredible that you think the laws don’t apply to you

  2. Formely from the Hood on

    Typical take care of your own thing going on here. The marijuana possession charge has been delayed until next month. That is so it could be hide from the media and the people, so it will just go away.

    He will only get a scolding and maybe a small fine. But in my surroundings, you either get killed by a cop or 20 years in jail.

  3. come out of the closet on

    “In the United States, drug arrests have tripled in the last 25 years, however most of these arrests have been for simple possession of low-level drugs. In 2005, nearly 43% of all drug arrests were for marijuana offenses. Marijuana possession arrests accounted for 79% of the growth in drug arrests in the 1990s. Nearly a half million people are in state or federal prisons or a local jail for a drug offense, compared to 41,000 in 1980. Most of these people have no history of violence or high-level drug selling activity” page 4.

    “With over 5 million people on probation or parole in the United States, drug use on parole or probation has become the primary basis by which thousands of people are returned to prison. These technical violations of parole or probation account for as many as 40% of new prison admissions in some jurisdictions.” – page 6.

    PROHIBITION IS A DIRECT THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY:

    “The war on drugs has also generated indirect costs that many researchers contend have undermined public safety. The federal government has prioritized spending and grants for drug task forces and widespread drug interdiction efforts that often target low-level drug dealing. These highly organized and coordinated efforts have been very labor intensive for local law enforcement agencies with some unanticipated consequences for investigation of other crimes. The focus on drugs is believed to have redirected law enforcement resources that have resulted in more drunk driving, and decreased investigation and enforcement of violent crime laws. In Illinois, a 47% increase in drug arrests corresponded with a 22% decrease in arrests for drunk driving. Florida researchers have similarly linked the focus on low level drug arrests with an increase in the serious crime index.”

    –Drug Policy, Criminal Justice and Mass Imprisonment, by Bryan Stevenson.

    Change the drug laws in New York

  4. The people of putnam and northern westchester have elected an assemblyman
    who is nothing like what he represents himself to be….opposing a medical marijuana
    bill for people in real pain, while driving up the thruway with marijuana in his car..
    sitting on the alcohol and drug committee but violating the law regarding the posession
    of pot…what facts does mr katz think will mitigate the charges..that the pot wasn’t his
    that he wasn’t really high..that he really doesn’t speed or that he is really a responsible
    legislator. Katz’ actions should at the very least cause his removal from the drug
    committee and should require the republican party of putnam and westchester to not nominate him again when it is time to run…in fact the only reason he won the first primary against
    jim borkowski was because greg ball teamed up with Katz, something I am now
    betting that Ball regrets…but who knows maybe the good people of putnam and
    northern westchester will make a change next election…

  5. I don’t think this conversation should be about marijuana. I don’t have a problem if Mr. Katz wants to get stoned at home while ordering pizzas by the dozen. I do have a problem with Mr. Katz driving a vehicle and smoking pot, just the same as I would have a problem with him drinking a beer and driving.

    The fact that he voted against legalizing medical marijuana just shows what a hypocrite this guy is.

    A clue to his character were his prior arrests for dumping dog bodies and now this.

    I’m betting he’ll end up doing time before he loses his next election.
    He won’t stop violating the law now. He’s much too arrogant for that.

  6. -Sheldon Silver got caught using a taxpayer supplied slush fund to pay off a victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by another assembly member.
    -Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) was found guilty on 11 ethics charges and gets re-elected ?
    Where was the “outrage” during that election ? http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45198.html#ixzz2OfMEVIir
    We have Politicians beating their wives, not paying their taxes, taking Bribes
    And this is an issue for you ? Cuomo takes away your 2nd Amendment rights and This is what you focus on ?
    Maybe because Steve is a Republican ? Or maybe because he’s doing his JOB and not joining the “Good ‘ole Boy Club” in Albany.
    Keep up the good work Assemblyman. Ignore the peanut gallery

  7. NY Voter: this case and the comments are about the former yet new democrat who is planning to run against Katz next year, come out come out come out from the closet and show us “The New You”! reinvented as a drug crusader saving us from the likes of bad men like Steve Katz. “YORKTOWN PARENT” my foot. I’d rather vote for Steve katz than for someone so dishonest he cant even tell the truth about where he lives!

  8. Jackson Davies on

    And yet we continue to have a Westchester Legislator who uses cocaine and got off on possession in his car.

  9. laugh at you guys on

    people are laughing at him. look at his facebook page every day individuals are upset with him. this paper has done a poll with over 1000 individuals voting with 80% wanting him to resign from the alcohol committee. if you believe this is all made up political BS then believe it.

    but you are wrong.

  10. Do as I say - Not as I do on

    What is unfortunate, he will never pay the price for this infraction. Another over educated individual who thinks the law does not apply to him.

  11. Yorktown Parent on

    Where did you purchase the marijuana, Mr. Katz, because that is a separate crime.

  12. Davis, who is the legislator who uses cocaine? He or She should lose there position, like Steven Katz will lose his.

    We will be waiting for the name.

  13. young mans club on

    NYVoter your including my assemblyman with some good company, Silver, Rangel, Cuomo. You forgot a few Liebel, Spano, Spitzer and many more.

    He is not doing a good job. If you dont think he is part of the “Good ‘ole Boy Club” then I hear the Tappan Zee Bridge is for sale. You should look into it

  14. people people people

    get a clue the offense Katz was charged with is a violation and carries a $100 fine.

    glad he didn’t vote for a bad medical marijuana law, you know like the unused laws in NJ and CT? what would that get us? nowhere is the answer.

  15. rewrite the unfair marijuna laws in NYS on

    Copied from times union

    A whiff of reality for Mr. Katz

    Thursday, March 21, 2013by: TU Editorial Board

    Our opinion: A state legislator is accused of marijuana possession. How can he not join the quest to bring some sense to New York’s pot laws?

    That was some traffic stop last week on the Thruway. The State Police did a lot more than pull over Assemblyman Steve Katz for speeding, and they dug up more than a minor case of possession of a small amount of marijuana.

    Mr. Katz is one of the people entrusted to make the laws that the rest of us have to follow. So let’s just hope that he is now ready to vote for a law that would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes and decriminalize the possession of small quantities of it.

    It was one thing for him to oppose a medical marijuana bill when it came to a vote in the Assembly last year. So did most other Republicans. Besides, who was looking to a first-term, minority party legislator from Westchester County to lead the fight for a humane law to help ease the suffering endured by victims of cancer, arthritis, HIV and AIDS?

    But suddenly Mr. Katz is a central figure in the ongoing debate about marijuana laws in need of substantive change. The state trooper who arrested him might as well have said, “Step out of the car, and into the political spotlight, Mr. Katz.”

    How can a legislator who shows signs of using marijuana for recreational purposes continue to oppose a far more necessary use?

    How, too, can the Republican Assembly leadership that’s standing by Mr. Katz, despite an arrest that not so long ago would have derailed a political career, not reconsider its opposition to medical marijuana?

    The usual political hypocrisy can’t be tolerated this time — surely not by all the people tormented by relentless nausea, pain and anxiety for whom the legal use of marijuana could make life more bearable.

    For their good, New York must follow the lead of 18 other states and the District of Columbia, which already have legalized medical marijuana.

    It’s to Mr. Katz’s credit that he has spared his fellow New Yorkers the usual ritual of an insincere, politically motivated apology. His comments on his arrest have instead been a defense of his legislative priorities — specifically mandate relief, further improvement to a still-languishing economy and constituent services.

    That’s all fine, assuming that Mr. Katz now embraces the public role he can’t avoid.

    One of the other issues before the Legislature this session is the appropriate penalty for pot possession. Having a small enough amount of marijuana on your person — as Mr. Katz allegedly did — is penalized with the equivalent of a speeding ticket. But having that same amount of marijuana in what’s considered “public view,” even if it’s put there as a result of a police order to empty one’s pockets, is still prosecuted as a crime.

    It’s black and Hispanic youths, mostly, who pay the cruel price for such a double standard. And it’s black and Hispanic legislators from New York City who are leading the fight the change that law.

    Now comes an ally, surely, as invaluable as he was unlikely — a white Republican man from the suburbs. Mr. Katz can best survive the embarrassment of his arrest by confronting the very law that treats him so gingerly but others so harshly.

    An otherwise routine police stop on the Thruway might be just what it takes to prod the Legislature into rewriting the unfairness out of New York’s marijuana laws.

  16. He was nabbed at 10 AM, a bit early for a HIGH, no? What he needs is treatment, more than anything else.

  17. So far there is no proof that Mr. Katz was smoking anything. There is also no proof that he purchased any drug. Since the Assemblyman cooperated with law enforcement and there are no prior arrests, where’s the burden of proof?

    If Katz establishes there was someone else in his car, this is much ado about nothing.

    But smoking pot at 10 in the morning going 80 mph in a vehicle before a legislative session on the State budget is sorta kinda really downright stupid and reckless and hypocritical.

    Does anyone know what REALLY happened here?

  18. Steve Katz won election handily in 2010, despite receiving like five votes at the caucus. Then last year the DACC went after Steve hard, and failed. Steve won again. Now we already know who next year’s failed challenger will be, a lifelong dummo-crat (even though he denied it for years), turned republican like a true opportunist, claiming the tea party people were behind him because he is the true conservative, now turns back to dummo-crat, thinking all these chess moves will help him beat Steve. Listen, and listen good. You will NEVER beat Assemblyman Katz. We already know what next year’s plans are, and we are ready to roll. If it sounds like I’m on Steve’s committee guess what….I am. But listen to this bit of news: you think you’re going to run next year, trust me, you won’t be.

    Mark MY words.