LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN NEW YORK STATE
New York Lawmakers just announced the bill to legalize, tax and regulate the use of recreational marijuana. This new bill will legalizes the use of recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and will also expunge the criminal records of anyone with a previous marijuana conviction.
The legalization of marijuana in New York state has a provision for users who wish to grow their own plants at home. It also allows people to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 ounces of cannabis concentrate. This is great news for cannabis lovers all over New York state.
In one of the numerous interviews to assess the government’s decision on the legal status of cannabis, Gov. Andrew was reported to have said the legalization of cannabis was a priority in 2021.
Furthermore, while speaking on the new bill, Gov. Andrew had this to say "for generations, too many New Yorkers have been unfairly penalized for the use and sale of adult-use cannabis, arbitrarily arrested and jailed with harsh mandatory minimum sentences. After years of tireless advocacy and extraordinarily hard work, that time is coming to an end in New York State. Legalizing adult-use cannabis isn't just about creating a new market that will provide jobs and benefit the economy -- it's also about justice for long-marginalized communities and ensuring those who've been unfairly penalized in the past will now get a chance to benefit. I look forward to signing this legislation into law."
Signing and passing this legislation will also create more jobs for the people of New York state as about 30,000 to 60,000 people will be directly involved in the activities of the Office of Cannabis Management. The creation of the office of cannabis management is expected to boost the state’s revenues by over $350 million.
Most lawmakers and leaders are fully in support of establishing the new bill and are vocal about it. Here is what Bill de Blasio (NYC Mayor) had to say about his support for the bill.
"I want to make sure it's done in a way that respects the rights of localities and really empowers economically the communities that were most hurt by the previous drug laws. I think this bill goes a long way. I think there's more to do after, but it goes a long way."
Are there possible limitations on the Bill?
Eliminating penalties for the possession of cannabis for less than 3 ounces of cannabis can be a yardstick for people to possess as much cannabis as possible, thus increasing the possible use of cannabis for indiscriminate purposes. The bill does not address the THC content of the cannabis plant.
Even though the bill is expected to be passed on Friday (2 April 2021) and is expected to take effect immediately, the sales of recreational cannabis are not expected to start anytime soon until the state proposes the right cannabis rules and regulations. This could take from 18 months to two years before sales of cannabis products may commence in New York state.