Tuesday, October 19

New York Announces Agreement to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use


Joins 14 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing cannabis use

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last Friday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last Friday.EFE
  • Amrica Mexico, on the way to being the largest legal marijuana market

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State legislators reached an agreement to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for those over the age of 21 tothe government of this state on the east coast of the United States announced on Sunday.

The agreement was reached late Saturday after years of discussions and comes as Cuomo faces multiple investigations, including alleged sexual harassment and alleged cover-up of Covid-19 nursing home deaths.

Once the legislation is passed (Cuomo’s Democratic Party has a strong majority in both houses of local Congress) New York will join 14 other states and the District of Columbia to allow cannabis use.

The governor’s office said in a statement that legalization could generate a $ 350 million increase in the state’s annual tax revenue and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Under the bill, those over 21 will be able to buy marijuana and grow it for personal use at home, meanwhile it includes a plan to use part of the funds raised for drug addiction treatment and education.

Give “justice” to marginalized communities

“Legalizing cannabis for adults does not only seek to create a new market that provides jobs and benefits the economy; it also aims to give justice to marginalized communities for a long time and to ensure that those who have been unfairly penalized in the past now have the opportunity to benefit, “Cuomo said in the statement.

Once passed, the law will take effect immediately, although the sale could take up to two years as a cannabis board must put the legal structures in place, a state lawmaker said Friday.

According to the bill, New York will automatically delete the registry of people convicted of previous crimes related to marijuana that are no longer penalized.

Also eliminate penalties for possession of up to three ounces (85 grams) of the drug, the new personal possession limit. And an existing medical marijuana program will be expanded.

Likewise, it plans to tax marijuana sales with 9%, and a 4% additional tax whose collection will be divided between the county government and the state government.

The proposal includes the granting of crditos y garantas to encourage the creation of jobs and participation in the industry of small farmers, women and veterans with disabilities, as well as minority New Yorkers.

The promoters of the project affirm that it implies an important step to end decades of injustices against minorities and impoverished communities, who were subject to disproportionate persecution during decades of severe drug criminalization.

“This landmark legislation brings justice to New York State by ending the ban, eliminating conviction records that have reduced opportunities for countless predominantly New Yorkers young blacks and latinos “said The Legal Aid Society, a social justice law firm, in a statement Sunday.

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