Gov Cuomo Announces Plan to Legalize Recreational Weed
In Governor Cuomo's address on Wednesday, he announced his plan to try, for a third time, to get legislation passed to legalize recreational marijuana in New York.
This year's agenda would also create the Office of Cannabis Management that would oversee recreational and medical marijuana. In addition, the newly created office will be in charge of the licensing of growers, dispensaries, and other regulations.
Cuomo has tried twice before to legalize recreational marijuana in 2019 and 2020. The 2019 vote just fell short of passing and in 2020 the legislation got pushed aside due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, New York softened some criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana and launched a process to automatically expunge the records of thousands of individuals convicted of low-level possession crimes.
Proponents of legalized recreational marijuana say that we need the revenue and tax dollars from the sales of legal pot. They also don't want those dollars going to neighboring states that already have legal recreational pot. Supporters say that the additional state revenue is great, but the medical benefits of CBD and marijuana are even a bigger reason to legalize weed.
Opponents of the legislation to legalize medical marijuana are worried about increased underage usage, an increase in impaired driving and they argue that the state won't actually see the increased revenue from the sale of legal marijuana for years.
Cuomo is hopeful his new proposal could bring in sorely needed revenue to the state, even if it takes a few years to actually see the increase. Once the state starts to see the revenue it could be as much as $300 million.
More specific details on the new proposal will be announced during Governor Cuomo's State of the State address on Monday.
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