On Tuesday, New York legislators pre-filed a proposal to authorize marijuana.
Governor Cuomo Andrew has underscored the need to implement the bill this year, citing that it will assist in cushioning financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and foster social equity.
Senator Kruger Liz and eighteen co-sponsors submitted the legislation, which is similar to a reform she sponsored in 2020 and has already been submitted to the Senate Finance Committee. The bill would permit 21 and older adults to purchase marijuana and grow not more than six recreational use plants.
This fifth version of the authorization bill was initially introduced in 2013. Activists are confident that, given the state and America’s revised cannabis policy atmosphere together with the governor’s approval of the bill, 2021 will see the initiative enacted.
Krueger said that it’s time for New York to catch up with neighbouring states to tax, control and legalize recreational marijuana. She added that his major reason to do so is to curb the destructive and unnecessary impact of the failed fight on drugs on coloured communities.
She further said that due to the pandemic’s adverse effects, the potential for authorization to create employment, out-year tax proceeds, and economic growth for New York is more crucial than ever.
The legislation’s text features an array of provisions focused on social equity and restorative justice. For instance, it caters for automatic expungements for individuals with prior marijuana-related minor convictions and features zero- or low-interest loans for eligible equity applicants who want to set up cannabis businesses.
Cannabis sales would carry an 18% tax. After offsetting implementation costs, proceeds from those taxes would be used in three areas:
- 25% for New York’s lottery fund (as long as it’s meant for the Education Department)
- 25% for a public education and drug treatment fund
- 50% for the community incentives reinvestment fund