Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana In NY Is Close
With some proponents saying marijuana sales if legalized could amount to a billion dollars in tax revenue per year a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New York State could be written this week.
In a story aired on NEWS 4 (WIVB-TV) Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes hopes that would result in a vote next week.
Peoples-Stokes, who has long supported legalizing marijuana, said the Democratic Assembly, Democratic Senate, and Governor Andrew Cuomo have a three-way agreement on the proposal.
Once the bill is signed into law, Peoples-Stokes said, “It will take effect immediately that marijuana as a product will be a legal product.”
The proposed bill would allow people to have up to three ounces of marijuana. The legislation will also set up the “Office of Cannabis Management”, which would regulate the recreational use of the drug, and would also deal with the regulation of medical marijuana and hemp, which are both already legal in New York State.
States which have already approved recreational marijuana say it generally takes 18-24 months to put the regulatory pieces in place. But it may not take New York that long, according to the assemblywoman.
The legislation also calls for a “controlled study” to determine how much THC one would need in their system for a police officer to determine they are driving while impaired.
“No one knows how to test for impaired driving. They may know how it looks,” she added. “Frankly the New York State troopers are really good at that. They know how to train other law enforcement departments in being able to see that. But there is no real firm test that they can use.”
Peoples-Stokes could not share details regarding how the drug would be taxed. But she laid out where some of that money would go.
“Percentages of it will be invested into the communities that have been harmed,” she said. “Percentages of it will be invested into education. And percentages of it would be invested in substance abuse education for young people and substance abuse training,” Peoples-Stokes added.