The law has major implications beyond its most visible effects.Ben: So … weed is legal in New York now! It feels like there have been so many false starts leading up to this moment that it’s almost anticlimactic, but nevertheless — it’s a big deal. I think some people may be confused as to how much of this law is effective immediately and how much is a roadmap of provisions that are yet to come.
New Mexico is on track to become the latest state to decriminalize cannabis for adult use after approving a new bill regulating possession and use.
On Wednesday, following a two-day special session, New Mexico's lawmakers approved the Cannabis Regulation Act, which legalizes possession and use for state residents aged 21 and older. The bill cleared the state's House 41-28, while the New Mexico Senate voted 22-15 in favor of its approval.
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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.
Following news of the bill clearing both the Senate and the House, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tweeted her "signing pen" was ready to enshrine the bill into law.
"This is a significant victory for New Mexico. Workers will benefit from the opportunity to build careers in this new economy," she said in a statement.
"Entrepreneurs will benefit from the opportunity to create lucrative new enterprises. The state and local governments will benefit from the additional revenue. Consumers will benefit from the standardization and regulation that comes with a bona fide industry.
"And those who have been harmed by this country's failed war on drugs, disproportionately communities of color, will benefit from our state's smart, fair and equitable new approach to past low-level convictions."
Remaking and improving the US-Mexico relationship
President Biden restored the norm of hosting the first foreign meeting with Canada and Mexico, reminding the region that despite the turmoil of the past four years, America still recognizes the importance of its partnerships with its closest neighbors. In his meeting with López Obrador, Biden set a drastically different tone from his predecessor, portraying America's southern neighbor as a connector to the rest of Latin America rather than a divider.Biden is right to change the tone in the bilateral relationship with Mexico.
On the same day, New York legalized marijuana for recreational adult use, two years after decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.
"This is a historic day in New York—one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences, embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State's economy, and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said as he signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.
While the use of cannabis has not been legalized by federal law in the U.S., several states have, to varying degrees, moved to decriminalize use and possession.
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New York is the 15th state to fully legalize the use of cannabis for adults, along with Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington.
Exclusive: U.S. investigations into cartels paralyzed by standoff with Mexico
Exclusive: U.S. investigations into cartels paralyzed by standoff with MexicoWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. efforts to battle powerful drug cartels from inside Mexico have ground to a halt since January as strained relations between the two countries have frozen attempts to corral drug kingpins, according to current and former senior officials in both nations.
Use of cannabis has also been legalized in Washington, D.C.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, meanwhile, cannabis remains illegal in Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.
At the beginning of March, however, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a decriminalization bill in a 6-3 vote and the bill will now head to the state's Senate.
North Carolina has already decriminalized the use of cannabis, while some cannabidiol (CBD) products are available for use in Wyoming, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Cannabis use, meanwhile, remains completely illegal in Kansas and Nebraska.
In some of the remaining states, cannabis use is only legal for medicinal purposes or limited to CBD oils.
In Louisiana, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, for example, cannabis use is legal for medicinal purposes but recreational use remains illegal.
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