NY State Assemblyman Has Pot Charge Dropped; Fined $75

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013  |  Updated 12:13 PM EDT
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NY Assemblyman Arrested on Marijuana Charge

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NY Assemblyman Arrested on Marijuana Charge

A New York state assemblyman who voted against a bill to legalize marijuana has been accused of possession. Assemblyman Steve Katz, who serves three local counties, was arrested during a traffic stop in the Albany area. He said in a statement the arrest won't affect his service. News 4's Tracie Strahan reports.
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A judge has dismissed marijuana possession charges against a New York state assemblyman who was stopped for speeding last month, but he will have to do community service and pay a fine as part of a plea deal for the motor vehicle violation, his lawyer said Thursday.

Susan Chana Lask, attorney for Assemblyman Steve Katz, a Republican from Mohegan Lake in the Hudson Valley, says there were difficulties in proving he had marijuana when he was stopped March 12 on the state Thruway. 

Police said they pulled the 59-year-old over for driving 80 mph in a 65-mph zone, smelled pot and found a small bag of the drug. Katz was never arrested or criminally charged in the case.

Lask says the marijuana charge, a violation, was dropped in court Thursday and the speeding ticket was reduced to a parking violation. Katz was fined $75 and ordered to perform 20 hours community service.

Lask said he would likely perform his community service at an animal shelter. 

Katz, who was elected in November 2010 and serves parts of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties, is also a veterinarion, according to his assembly bio. 

The married father of four voted against legalizing medical marijuana last June.

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