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Exciting News: New York Approves the Use of Recreational Marijuana


Exciting News: New York Approves the Use of Recreational Marijuana

Credit: Unsplash

A momentous occasion unfolded as the New York State Legislature convened to deliberate on Senate Bill S854A, a bill that would legalize the recreational consumption of marijuana throughout the state. The bill received overwhelming support in the New York State Senate with a positive vote of 40-23, followed by the Assembly’s affirmation with a vote of 100-43. The final step involves New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signing the bill into law, a step he plans to take, as indicated in his post-vote statement.

In response, Cuomo expressed his optimism, stating, “Yesterday, the New York State Legislature set the foundation for significant progress in the Empire State by passing legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis. The longstanding prohibition of cannabis, which particularly affected minority communities with severe penalties, will be remedied by this pivotal legislation. It not only delivers justice to marginalized groups but also welcomes a burgeoning industry that will bolster the economy and institute robust safety measures for the public.”

Continuing his remarks, Cuomo emphasized the progressive nature of New York, remarking, “New York has a rich legacy of spearheading progressive initiatives across the country, and this transformative legislation upholds that tradition. I eagerly anticipate the enactment of this law.”

Analysis from the New York state government predicts that the establishment of a legal adult-use cannabis market could generate approximately $350 million annually in new tax revenue for the state, along with the creation of 30,000 to 60,000 job opportunities. Notably, individuals previously convicted for possessing marijuana within the new legal parameters will have their criminal records expunged.

Steve Hawkins, the executive director at the Marijuana Policy Project, commended the New York Legislature and advocacy groups for their dedicated efforts to end marijuana prohibition through a social justice-oriented approach. He remarked, “We anticipate a groundbreaking year in 2021 for states legalizing cannabis. A majority of Americans believe it’s time to put an end to prohibition, and this decision showcases another instance of policymakers joining the wave of support for the legalization and regulation of cannabis for adults.”

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