Anti-Marijuana Republican NY Lawmaker Steve Katz Arrested for Marijuana Possession
A Republican state lawmaker who voted against legalizing medical marijuana has been arrested and charged with marijuana possession.
The Albany Times Union reports that New York state Assemblyman Steve Katz, a 59-year-old Republican, was stopped by police for driving 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) on the New York State Thruway near the town of Coeymans on Thursday morning.
“After noting the odor of marijuana, a New York State Trooper found Katz in possession of a small bag of marijuana,” a State Police press release stated. As marijuana possession is not a criminal offense in New York, Katz was issued an appearance citation and released.
Katz released a statement in which he said he “will not let this incident impede my public service and my calls for real mandate relief, a better economic climate and better services for those in need in New York.”
“This should not overshadow the work I have done over the years for the public and my constituency,” the statement read. “I am confident that once the facts are presented that this will be quickly put to rest.”
The New York Times reports that this was not Katz’s first arrest. The lawmaker, who is also a veterinarian, was previously accused of illegally disposing of a dead German shepherd in a garbage dumpster and for allegedly abusing a Chihuahua in his care. Katz claims he was cleared of both charges.