There’s a lot of jabber these days about New York City reverting back to its old dirty, dangerous ways, but this latest act of gutter-level crime seems like a weird, unwelcome new spin on OG street violence: A beatdown for smoking weed.
Specifically, police say three men charged and attacked a 32-year-old man in Harlem while he was enjoying a joint on Broadway near W, 151st Street. According to the cops, the trio angrily approached the victim at around 3:10 in the afternoon on November 9, ordering him to leave the area. Reportedly, they objected to the man smoking weed.
The smoker, who is said to regularly light up on that particular block, refused. A scuffle ensued that left the victim bruised and bleeding. The three men are now accused of punching the smoker repeatedly and stabbing him in the hand, arm, and leg, and then scattering before the cops arrived.
Medics rushed the victim to Harlem Hospital, where he was treated and sent home.
Authorities issued surveillance camera photos of three suspects, who are said to be between 20- and 30-years-old.
What’s going on, NYC? First, poor Rick Moranis fell prey to a sidewalk sneak attack in October. Now, if this story pans out, it seems as though anti-weed squads are ganging up to pummel and knife blunt-puffing passersby.
With next-door-neighbor New Jersey having just fully legalized weed and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo repeatedly saying that the state is also going to legalize adult-use recreational cannabis in 2021, anti-pot crusaders around the Big Apple are waging a fool’s war.
The solution, of course, is to get them stoned and let peace naturally come over them with each puff. Not to make light of a serious assault, but if only those three dudes would have asked for a hit of that dude’s joint — instead of resorting to violence — they’d have likely mellowed and quickly understood that cannabis does nothing but improve communities.