Gov. Cuomo signs bill legalizing recreational marijuana for adults in the state

Gov. Cuomo signs bill legalizing recreational marijuana for adults in the state”

"Last night, the State Legislature made history and acted to right a wrong and legalize marijuana the right way", Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The bill was sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk to sign following the approval by both Houses, which he did on Wednesday, March 31, making the law official. He has said he will sign it.

Medical marijuana patients will also be able to grow their own plants at home, while the state will expand the conditions that provide access to medical marijuana.

"We are ending a 90-year prohibition", said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

'We know a lot of adults do use these products safely, they lead highly functional lives, they lead to no severe health outcomes and we need to have a society that doesn't criminalize that type of action and provides support for people who end up having problems with it, ' he said.

"Not only did NY state legalize marijuana, but they expunged the records of all those indict don flimsy, nonsensical possession charges". Lawmakers in New Mexico returned for a special session Tuesday to tackle recreational marijuana, while Democratic lawmakers in Virginia are negotiating over a push to move up legalization to this summer.

"This law comprehensively addresses the harms of overcriminalization and establishes one of the most ambitious marijuana legalization programs in the nation", Melissa Moore, New York State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance said.

The governor, who in the past had been at odds with the Legislature over how the state will use tax money collected on cannabis sales, applauded the passage.

The new law decriminalizes possession of up to three ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and 24 grams of concentrate, such as oils, and up to five pounds of marijuana at their personal residence. And police could no longer use the odor of cannabis as a reason for searching someone's auto for contraband.

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Before selling can begin, the state must set up rules and a proposed cannabis board. Certain parts of the law go into effect immediately, while other parts could take up to 18 months. Voters moved to legalize recreational and medical use of marijuana in South Dakota in November, though it is now being challenged in the state's Supreme Court.

Social equity emerged as a key theme in marijuana legalization in recent years, with newly legal states trying to build it in and others seeking to make up for a lack of diversity in the businesses they approved earlier.

NY will set a 9% sales tax on cannabis plus an additional 4% county and local tax and another tax based on the level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

It also establishes an "Office of Cannabis Management" to oversee production and sales of pot.

New Yorkers will be permitted to smoke in public wherever tobacco smoking is permitted with the exception of near schools and while driving.

The state will also launch a study due by December 31, 2022, that examines the extent that cannabis impairs driving, and whether it depends on factors like time and metabolism.

Sen. Liz Krueger, a Democrat and the legislation's senate sponsor, estimates the total tax rate will come out to about 20%. "And that's not something that most other states did".

Republican Rep. John Lemondes Jr., a retired Army colonel who runs a farm not far from Syracuse, expressed concerns about workplace accidents. But he's also wary.

"In this bill, we have worked to protect communities of color from over-policing". But plans haven't always played out as intended. We've certainly seen that sometimes before.

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