New York officially legalizes marijuana
It's finally official: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. The move comes after multiple failed attempts at legalization in NY, and makes it the 15th state to legalize weed. The first part of the bill goes into effect immediately: you can now legally posses up to 3 ounces of weed in NY, and smoke it in public in places where smoking tobacco is allowed.
From New York Times:
Other changes will go into effect in the coming months when officials create the regulatory framework that will govern every aspect of a brand new, highly regulated market.
People, for example, will eventually be able to have cannabis delivered to their homes, consume cannabis products at lounge-like “consumption sites” and cultivate up to six plants at home for personal use. Dispensaries won’t open until more than a year from now, and localities could opt out of allowing such businesses.
Forty percent of tax revenue from marijuana sales will go to communities disproportionately effected by the war on drugs, and past marijuana offenses that are no longer criminal under the new law will be expunged from peoples' records.
Assembly Democratic majoritiy leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, who sponsored the bill, said, “Unlike any other state in America, this legislation is intentional about equity. Equity is not a second thought, it’s the first one and it needs to be, because the people who paid the price for this war on drugs have lost so much."
"This is a historic day in New York - one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences, embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State’s economy, and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits," Cuomo said in a statement. "I’m proud these comprehensive reforms address and balance the social equity, safety and economic impacts of legal adult-use cannabis."