Will 2017 be the Year That New York Legalizes Marijuana?

Will 2017 be the Year That New York Legalizes Marijuana?
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In New York, state lawmakers recently introduced bills A3506 and S3040 aimed at legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana for people age 18 and older. [1]

Introduced in both the state Senate and Assembly, the bills would allow New Yorkers to possess up to 2 ounces of pot, and cultivate up to 6 plants. The proposals (Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act) would also establish a fully legal cannabis market that would allow adults 21 and over to purchase marijuana products from state licensed retail dispensaries.

Read: What Future Does Legal Marijuana Have Under a Trump Presidency?

The proposal reads:

“The intent of this act is to regulate, control, and tax marihuana in a manner similar to alcohol, generate millions of dollars in new revenue, prevent access to marihuana by those under the age of eighteen years, reduce the illegal drug market and reduce violent crime, reduce the racially disparate impact of existing marihuana laws, allow industrial hemp to be farmed in New York state, and create new industries and increase employment.”

Historically, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has not been much of a legalization advocate, but there are signs that he is maturing. Thus far, Cuomo has supported expansions to the state’s ridiculously-restricted medical marijuana program, and has most recently announced plans to clarify New York’s decades’ old decriminalization law. Under the law, anyone spotted with marijuana must empty their pockets before they’re hauled off to jail. [1] [2]

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Said Cuomo:

“The illegal sale of marijuana cannot and will not be tolerated in New York State, but data consistently show that recreational users of marijuana pose little to no threat to public safety.” [1]

Read: In States That Legalize Marijuana, Opioid Use Decreases

The Governor has also acknowledged that “Individuals can miss work, be fired, [and] establish a record that prevents them from finding work in the future” because of a marijuana arrest. [2]

It will take several months before legal experts can predict whether they’ll be passed or not. Cuomo hasn’t indicated whether or not he will sign the bills if they make it to his desk later this year. [1]

Sources:

[1] Merry Jane

[2] Weed News