Albany, NY — New York Became the 15th state Legalize possession of marijuana for recreational purposes, allowing anyone over the age of 21 to carry up to 3 ounces of narcotics.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Tax Control Act the following Wednesday afternoon, which was heavily approved by the Legislature.
The bill was passed by the Senate with a margin of 43 to 20 and by Parliament with a margin of 100 to 49, with the Democratic Party controlling both chambers.
Immediate entry into force, possessing up to 3 ounces of marijuana in New York is no longer a crime or breach.
But at least next year, New York will be a gray area. Marijuana dispensing and on-site consumer sales may never begin until April 1, 2022 at the earliest. In other words, there is no legal way to sell. Until then, medicine for the people of New York.
The bill creates a regulatory system to oversee the cannabis industry, ranging from large-scale cultivation operations to corner cafes that allow outdoor marijuana smoking and vaporization.
A year from now, the state will embark on the complex task of issuing cannabis licenses while preparing to enforce a long list of new marijuana laws for the sale of legal marijuana over the age of 21. I expect it to start.
When the cannabis industry is fully functional, New York State is expected to generate more than $ 350 million in annual tax revenues, 40% for social capital funds, 40% for schools, and 20% for drug treatment and education. ..
“Today is New York’s historic day. By ending severe imprisonment, we correct past mistakes, embrace the industries that grow the imperial economy, and prioritize the communities left out of society. Those who are suffering will benefit first. “
New York Senator Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, who supported the bill, advertised it as the key to removing marijuana from a market tightly regulated by state authorities from an illegal market operated by dangerous drug cartels.
“The fact is that we have a legalized system that guarantees that the drug is safe from seed to sale,” she said, and the goal is also racially biased decades of marijuana bans. He added that it was to end the enforcement of.
“We’re wasting generations of life,” Kruger said, noting that marijuana-related arrests have upset countless lives in the color community.
New York Senator Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx, expanded her comments on the Senate floor, stating that marijuana “bans and criminalization are racists.”
However, opponents of the legalization plan expressed concern about young people using marijuana, the adverse health effects of using powerful narcotics, and the lack of details associated with plans to enforce drug driving laws. Did.
The Senate bill was passed primarily in line with political party policy. The state government is controlled by the Democratic Party.
Fred Axher, Senator of New York in Broome County R-Binghamton, said:
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The legislative debate on the legalization of recreational marijuana on Tuesday touched on everything from the lack of marijuana drunk detectors to enforce the DUI law to the rules banning cannabis edibles that mimic candy.
The law requires the establishment of a new cannabis control office to enforce regulations and oversee the entire industry, including recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp aspects.
Kruger said the cannabis office is tasked with finalizing the details to keep marijuana away from children, including deciding what types of foods to ban other than bears, fish, and other animal-shaped gummies. Said that.
“There are institutions that can create regulations and address that kind of question,” she said.
Meanwhile, state health officials and experts are studying ways to improve drug driving enforcement, including the potential use of saliva-based marijuana tests, in accordance with the law.
Currently, law enforcement agencies rely in part on blood tests as well as police officers specially trained to perform field drinking tests for marijuana disorders, called drug recognition specialists.
The new cannabis office will be overseen by a board appointed by the governor and legislative leaders. The secretariat also has a secretary general appointed by the governor.
R-Long Island’s New York Senator Mario Mattera fears that New York’s plans to legalize marijuana will encourage the use of more dangerous drugs while increasing workplace injuries and construction responsibilities. Expressed.
“My family experienced drug addiction. What I experienced is very sad, and it started with marijuana,” he said, referring to cannabis as a gateway drug.
Kluger challenged the long-standing gateway theory of marijuana use and compared its risk to other legitimate substances.
“We tax and regulate tobacco and alcohol. We don’t give people a criminal record,” she said, adding that’s why marijuana for adults is legalized. ..
Senator Peter Harchcam, D-South Salem and other Democrats emphasize that New York is lagging behind other states in reducing illegal marijuana use and dealing with social injustice. By doing so, Kruger’s comments were expanded.
“We’re not trying to seduce new users. It’s about taking up an existing illegal market, legalizing it, and spending tax revenues on public goods,” said Harchcam.
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What You Need to Know About New York’s Recreational Marijuana Plan
Pots are legal for people over the age of 21 to own, display, buy, obtain, or transport up to 3 ounces of cannabis and up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis.
People not only buy marijuana from storefront pharmacies, but also where they are allowed to smoke and vaporize on-site marijuana use, such as cigar bars, catering halls, and outdoor dining areas. There are strict rules about. Limited special event permits will also be issued for the use of indoor marijuana.
Local governments will be able to opt out by banning pharmacies and on-site marijuana use.
Marijuana sales are taxed at a tax rate of 14%. Of that, 9% go to the state, 4% go to the city, town, or village where it is sold, and 1% go to the county.
Some taxes are levied on the basis of THC content. Flowers are 0.5 cents per milligram, concentrated cannabis is 0.8 cents per milligram, and edible is 3 cents per milligram.
The law also allows all New Yorkers over the age of 21 to grow up to three mature cannabis plants and three immature cannabis plants at one time. Up to 12 plants per household.
However, increased use for recreational purposes cannot begin until 18 months after the first legitimate sale in pharmacies and consumption areas. However, accredited patients in the state medical marijuana program can begin to grow six months after the law comes into force.
Penalties for possessing illegal marijuana range from simple low-end violations to class D felony for possession of 10 pounds or more of flowers or 4 pounds of concentrated product.
Penalties for illegal sales remain for those who sell marijuana or cannabis products without a license.
Despite opposition from the PTA and various law enforcement agencies, legalization votes are held.
He also opposed the New York State Medical Society, which represents physicians, and expressed concern about the need for additional research on the adverse effects of legalized marijuana on physical and mental health.
Two previous attempts in New York to legalize recreational marijuana are: Discussion of how to use tax revenues to benefit the color community It was harmed by the enforcement of the marijuana ban.
In 2019, New York approved the following legislation: Decriminalized possession of a small amount of marijuana After the bid to legalize recreational marijuana collapses.
Kevin Sabet, president of the anti-marijuana group Smart Approaches to Marijuana and its New York affiliate SAM New York, has blamed New York’s marijuana program.
Mr Savet said the state allowed people to carry more drugs than many other states and passed the bill without including road safety and public health details.
“Even if adults believe in the right to suck joints, this is a very bad bill,” he said in a statement.
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This article was originally published in USA TODAY NETWORK. New York legalizes marijuana: Cuomo signs weed bill in state law