This morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis use in New York. This legislation makes New York, along with the District of Columbia, the 15th state in which marijuana is legally used.
The New York measure allows the use of 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrated cannabis products. It also allows up to six potted plants to grow at home. If you are looking to buy weed legally, you will find that the pharmacies close for a year or two after they open their doors.
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The new legislation will also eliminate racial disparities in the enforcement of marijuana laws. Records of New York Police Department arrests in 2020 showed that 94 percent of marijuana-related arrests combined were Black and Latino New Yorkers. A 2015-2016 NYC Health survey found that 24 percent of white New Yorkers report cannabis use, compared with 14 percent of black and 12 percent of Latin American residents. Under the bill, some marijuana-related convictions will be automatically deleted.
"I've seen such injustices and for young people whose lives have been ruined for doing what I did as a kid," said New York State Senator Liz Krueger, one of the bill's sponsors.
Annual tax revenues from the sale of marijuana could exceed $ 300 million a year. To be clear, Colorado, which legalized weeds in 2012, has already generated $ 1 billion in tax revenue. In New York State, 40 percent of tax revenue goes to minorities. The legislation also funds efforts to reduce the risk of pot use among school children and to study the effects of cannabis use on driving.
“This is a historic day in New York that will eradicate the wrongs of the past by ending harsh prison sentences, embracing an industry that grows the Empire State economy, and prioritizing marginalized communities with those who suffered the most Be the first to enjoy the benefits, ”Cuomo said in a statement.
Starting today, you can smoke pot publicly in New York anywhere you can smoke tobacco.
New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana was first published in Men & # 39; s Journal.