Marijuana Legalization Not Happening In New York This Session

Governor Cuomo was sure marijuana legalization was moving forward in New York. So much so, in fact,  he added marijuana legalization to his budget proposal earlier this year. However, it’s no longer in the spending plan.

Despite intentions otherwise, legislatures did not come to terms on the issue. Therefore, marijuana legalization was left pending when the New York session closed last week for the summer recess.

Marijuana advocates hoped strides would be made in the recreational use of the drug. They hoped to gain approval to set up a regulated marijuana market by the end of the legislative session. However, last week the discussion swayed to focus on further decriminalization of the drug instead.

Push came to shove

Senator Liz Krueger (D) introduced the bill proposing laws for legalization. It incorporated a number of proposals. Consequently, the spectrum proved too wide for everyone to come to terms.

  • Regulate cannabis
  • Expunge the records of those previously convicted of possession
  • Set aside a portion of state revenues for communities disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests

That proved to be a tall order. Those against the bill had a lot of food for fodder and they sunk their teeth in good!

Each of the bill’s proposals merit discussion to reach an agreeable resolution. As the session’s end drew closer, it became clear a resolution was not in sight.

“It’s just too far, too soon for New York,” Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of the national advocacy group, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, told the Wall Street Journal. He has lobbied against the bill with law-enforcement officials and school parents in New York.

Up for debate

There’s no doubt that marijuana legalization is going on the docket when sessions resume later this year. As a matter of fact, things are likely to pick up right where they left off.

There’s little chance of republicans opposing marijuana legalization to change their view. On the other hand, we have all those democrats who stand in support of the bill. Many believe an economic boon goes hand in hand with legalizing pot. They believe the financial boost New York will experience is reason enough to push forward as soon as possible.

As a matter of fact, now that the session has ended, advocates say not passing the bill is harmful for already struggling communities across the state. Those in favor of legalization feel these communities are now hindered in their opportunity to become part of a lucrative industry. One that is sure to have a positive affect on the community for the long-term.

In addition, according to Mayor Cuomo, marijuana decriminalization will benefit communities who, have been “disproportionately impacted” by marijuana laws.

It will all come out in the wash

By and large, marijuana legalization is coming to New York because the people have spoken. Now, legislators must decide on the particulars. This is their cup of tea. They’re great at haggling.

And, haggle they will, as soon as the legislative session resumes in the fall.

Until then, New York’s plans to jump into the marijuana industry full force are on hold.

In the big picture, that’s not a bad thing.

Take this time to think about where your business stands in regard to marijuana. Then, take a little more time to make your thoughts known on the matter. Contact your state legislatures and other business owners . You can make a difference on the outcome.

You can.