New York State moves closer to legalizing recreational cannabis

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New York state parliamentarians reached an agreement overnight Saturday to Sunday with the governor on a bill to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, the governor’s office said on Sunday.

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With a strong Democratic majority in the state parliament, the bill has a good chance of passage, and New York is expected to join 14 other US states as well as the federal capital Washington, which already allow recreational use of cannabis. .

New York State moves closer to legalizing recreational cannabis

According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, legalization would generate $ 350 million in taxes annually and create tens of thousands of jobs.

New York State moves closer to legalizing recreational cannabis

The bill would allow adults 21 years of age and over to purchase cannabis, and to grow it in their homes for personal consumption. Part of the sums recovered through taxes will be reinvested in educational initiatives and addiction treatment.

“Legalizing cannabis use among adults is not only a matter of creating a new market that will create jobs and benefit the economy, it is also a matter of justice for people who have been marginalized for a long time,” and that is to ensure that those who have been unfairly penalized in the past now get a chance to benefit (from legalization), ”said Andrew Cuomo.

If adopted, the law would come into force immediately, but sales could not begin for two years, said a parliamentarian on Friday, pending the creation of legal structures.

Supporters of the new law say it is a first step in addressing decades of injustice that have plagued poor and minority people, disproportionately targeted by decades of heavily restrictive drug use legislation. .

Once the law comes into force, New York will automatically purge the criminal records of people who have previously been convicted of offenses that would no longer be illegal under the new law.

The new personal possession limit would be set at just over 85 grams.

Parliamentarians struck the deal as Andrew Cuomo faces charges of sexual harassment.

Eight women have, since February, denounced the governor’s inappropriate gestures and words, including a former employee who accused him of putting his hand under his blouse in 2020.

Denouncing “false” allegations, Andrew Cuomo, 63, including ten at the head of the influential New York State, refuses to give in to calls for resignation from elected Republicans as Democrats.

In addition to the harassment charges, Andrew Cuomo is suspected of having willfully publicly underestimated the death toll from the coronavirus in nursing homes across the state, which has reached more than 13,000.

A federal investigation is underway to shed light on these accusations.