August 30, 2018, New York
For New York, this summer has been really happening as far as work to push for cannabis reforms go. All these efforts are giving hope regarding the legalization of adult-use cannabis in the state. A couple of months ago, NYC mayor directed the city police to not arrest people with minor cannabis possession. And in the first week of this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated a committee to draft legalization bill.
He took the decision after the conclusion of a multiagency study recommending the state to go with recreational legalization. Different state agencies had been studying the impact of legalization and they eventually came up with green lighting it. In order to get the feedback of masses on the matter, the state legislature has planned four public hearings this fall. After these public hearings, the fate of recreational marijuana in New York will become entirely unambiguous.
While the state is keen to listen from experts of the sector and officials from the neighboring legal states, several Democratic lawmakers also want to hear the voters’ opinion on the issues of taxation and regulation of a future adult-use cannabis market. It is worth mentioning that the topic of adult-use legalization is getting considerable traction from the New Yorkers, as one survey suggests that 63 percent of them are in favor of blanket legalization of marijuana.
Before the announcement of public hearing, a well-attended legislative session took place in the House of representative discussing the same issue. Crystal Peoples, a Democratic House Representative, also put forward a marijuana regulation and taxation act. A companion bill was also presented in the Senate in the same time window. Although, the progress on these bills has been a tad slow. Nevertheless, New York has done exceptionally good with cannabis reforms in recent times.
Multiple factors have come into play
The movement of legalization in New York is not powered by a single cause or reason. From regional to racial and political to economical, many factors are collectively helping in pushing the agenda of legalization.
For instance, the state officials have already acknowledged that the criminalization of cannabis is a major cause of racial disparities. On the other hand, the state health department has also recognized the unmatched therapeutic benefits of the strain. This is the reason why it has approved marijuana as an opioid replacement treatment. It is now a well-accepted fact that the therapeutic attributes of cannabis outweighs its potential side effects.
Politics is also playing a decisive role vis-à-vis cannabis reforms. Gubernatorial elections are not far away and incumbent Governor is facing a tough competition from a former TV star and gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon. She unabashedly shares its progressive views on the issue of cannabis in her campaign trail. With public support already tilting in the favor of legalization, Gov. Cuomo has changed its approach towards the matter of legalization. Political challenges are one of the underlying reasons why Gov. Cuomo has been so supportive of cannabis reforms in the last six months or so.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]