Tags: Marijuana Legalization | marijuana | New York | recreational | tax

NY Bill Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 06:25 PM

A New York state lawmaker is ready to introduce a bill in January to legalize marijuana for general use.

Democratic state Sen. Liz Krueger says her proposed bill is modeled after laws on the books in Washington state and Colorado, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"I will push for taxation and regulation of marijuana," the longtime Manhattan lawmaker said at a recent rally, The Journal reports. "I'll continue to work with experts around the country and to evaluate laws and regulations being put into place now."

She introduced a similar bill last legislative session, before New York lawmakers passed a law to legalize medical marijuana — and when Republicans controlled the chamber. The bill went up in smoke, never making it out of committee, the Huffington Post notes.

Krueger said she's now hopeful Democrats will be in the majority in both the state Assembly and Senate next year.

"I see more hope in a Democratic majority for . . . pieces of legislation that weren't going anywhere," Krueger said. "I knew we needed to move medical marijuana into law before people would focus on the bigger question — tax and regulation," she added, The Journal reports. "So, I think my legislative proposal fits in very nicely with what the state has already committed to move forward with."

Krueger's bill would permit the opening of retail marijuana dispensaries, which would be regulated by the State Liquor Authority, and would establish an excise tax on all marijuana sales, the Huffington Post reports. It also would make it legal for adults to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use.

If the measure is passed by the legislature and signed into law, it will go into effect without requiring a vote by New Yorkers. But Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not made it clear whether he'd support such a bill, the Huffington Post notes.

Earlier this summer, New York became the 23rd state in the country to legalize medical marijuana. But Krueger is concerned about the high number of marijuana arrests in New York City, the Huffington Post reports.

"The real motivation [for Krueger's upcoming bill] came from the disparate impacts of the drug war on different communities, how communities of color — especially in New York City — are facing large amounts of marijuana arrests based on these interpretations of existing law," Kreuger's chief of staff, Brad Usher, told the Huffington Post.

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A New York state lawmaker is ready to introduce a bill in January to legalize marijuana for general use. Democratic state Sen. Liz Krueger said her proposed bill is modeled after laws on the books in Washington state and Colorado, The Wall Street Journal reports.
marijuana, New York, recreational, tax
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2014-25-16
Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 06:25 PM
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