New York marijuana: State leaders announce an agreement on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana
New York state leaders announced an agreement on legislation that would legalize marijuana across the state -- a move they say would create jobs and bring in millions in tax dollars. © Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/Getty Images The New York State Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act would add a 13% tax to retail sales for state and local tax revenue. The bill would expand New York's existing medical marijuana programs and establish the Office of Cannabis Management "to implement a comprehensive regulatory framework that would cover medical, adult-use and cannabinoid hemp," Gov.
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico aimed to become the latest state to legalize cannabis for adult use when lawmakers approved a bill regulating a new cannabis industry Wednesday night, sending it to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for her signature. © Nathan J Fish/Sun-News Caryn Henshaw smokes medical marijuana at her home in Las Cruces on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. New Mexico is one of 33 states and the District of Columbia that allows medical marijuana with a license. A bill being proposed in the 2020 New Mexico Legislature would legalize use and sale of recreational marijuana for anyone age 21 and older.
The Cannabis Regulation Act decriminalizes possession and use of cannabis for residents aged 21 and older, and establishes a regulatory and licensing framework for commercial production and sales. Commercial sales of cannabis to New Mexico adults would begin no later than April 1, 2022.
Recreational marijuana will be legal in New York after lawmakers pass bill. Cuomo says he'll sign it
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he plans to sign a bill that would allow recreational marijuana use after the state Senate and Assembly voted to approve the legislation. © Peter Morgan/AP New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he "looks forward to signing" a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana. Senate Bill S854A passed the Senate, with 40 voting in favor and 23 against. It then went to the Assembly, where it was approved with 100 votes in favor and 49 votes against during a late-night session.
The Democratic-led New Mexico Legislature convened a two-day special session Tuesday, just 10 days after its 60-day regular session ended without completing a bill.
For the special session, cannabis legislation and related justice measures were broken up into two bills: One establishing the regulatory and licensing framework, including plant count limits for producers as well as caps on the number of plants for individuals and households; and the other addressing expungement of criminal records and sentences.
Shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, the state House concurred on an amended cannabis bill that passed the Senate on a 22-15 vote after two long days of detailed and, at times, contentious debate. Just before 9:30 p.m., the House followed the Senate in adjourning the special session.
New York is latest state to legalize recreational marijuana
New Yorkers can now possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis under a legalization bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, while sales of recreational-use marijuana won’t become legal for an estimated 18 months until the state draws up regulations. Advocates for criminal justice reform hope it will also help redress the inequities of a system that has locked up people of color for marijuana offenses at disproportionate rates. The legislation provides protections for cannabis users in the workplace, housing, family court and in schools, colleges and universities, and sets a target of providing half of marijuana licenses to individuals from underrepresented communities.
Republicans and some Democrats dissented from the legalization bill, which proponents promised would open a lucrative industry for producers in the state while preserving public safety and redressing historic harms — particularly to people of color and lower incomes — from decades of criminalization of cannabis use.
Commonly known as marijuana, cannabis is still classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law, while increasingly states (with the addition this week of New York) have begun to legalize adult use.
During debate over the expungement bill, New Mexico Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, said the legislation was an effort "to undo the worst consequences of what's been called 'the war on drugs,'" while New Mexico Senate minority leader Greg Baca, R-Belen, noted the bill had been amended 12 times and called it "rushed and poorly written."
Nonetheless, it passed the Senate 23-13 and ultimately cleared the House by a vote of 41-28, sending it on its way to the governor's desk.
After both chambers adjourned the special session, Lujan Grisham confirmed via Twitter that her "signing pen is ready" for HB 2 when it reaches her office.
Algernon D'Ammassa can be reached on Twitter @AlgernonWrites.
This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: New Mexico passes recreational marijuana bill; heads to Gov. Lujan Grisham for signature
Who’s Getting Rich From Weed Legalization in New York? .
Legal protections for minority-owned businesses are robust, but due to the nature of the industry, large sums of cash could still flow to big firms.To the credit of the Senate and Assembly leaders who wrested control of the legalization process away from Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act is a major piece of progressive legislation — and not just for its robust criminal-justice measures. Forty percent of tax revenue from the sale of marijuana will be reinvested in communities disproportionately hurt by punitive drug policies.