New York State Senator Liz Krueger filed legislation this week to legalize recreational cannabis. The proposal is co-sponsored by Senators Martin Dilan, Gustavo Rivera, Brad Hoylman and Velmanette Montgomery.
Under the proposed law – Senate Bill 1747 (The Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act) – the possession and private cultivation of cannabis would be legal for those 21 and older. State-licensed cannabis retail outlets would also be allowed, and cannabis possession would be decriminalized – though they wouldn’t be able to purchase it – for those 18 to 21.
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Statement by the Drug Policy Alliance: It’s Time to Fix New York’s Broken Marijuana Policies
New York — Today, Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblyperson Crystal Peoples-Stokes sponsored a public forum about the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. Under the proposal, those over 21 would be able to purchase small amounts of marijuana from a state-regulated store. The bill would rectify the many problems associated with marijuana prohibition, including the arrests of tens of thousands of primarily young people of color.
“There is no question that New York’s marijuana policies are broken,” said Kassandra Frederique, Policy Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Each year, tens of thousands of New Yorkers are swept into the maze of the criminal justice system for nothing more than possessing small amounts of marijuana. Enforcement of these policies is focused almost entirely focused on young people, primarily young people of color, such that our laws are now applied differently to different people based on the color of their skin and their income level – this must stop.”