A Cannabis Money Tree Grows in NY
NEW YORK – May 24, 2018
Marijuana legalization could potentially bear the fruit of 1.3 billion dollars in additional income for the state of New York by 2019.
The potential legalization of marijuana in New York State is picking up steam with support from elected officials, including one state senator who believes that legalization could very become a reality.
Several versions of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act sponsored by state Sen. Liz Krueger have been circulating in the Senate since 2013 but haven't, thus far, gotten any sizable attention. The question of legalization in New York will be discussed at a Cannabis Law Summit in midtown on Thursday.
“As I knew we would see, the world did not end with legalization state by state,” Sen. Liz Krueger said at the panel discussion, “It’s been not in a rush for five years, and it feels like we are getting really close.”
One of the main focuses of the panel on legalization is the continued criminalization of low-income communities. In addition prior drug convictions for marijuana have a negative effect on an individual’s chances of future employment, a spot in public housing units and educational opportunities.
Massachusetts plans to start sales this fall, while other states are still debating legalization. On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would order the police to stop making marijuana-related arrests and issue violator summonses instead.
We'll say more, on May 15, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. said that he will no longer prosecute marijuana possession and smoking cases, with limited exceptions for those that might pose a threat to public safety, beginning in August.
Many American lawyers claim there are potential financial benefits for the state, such as tax benefits, that would come with legalization. It is estimated that legalizing marijuana will bring in an additional $1.3 billion dollars annually in tax revenue at the state and city levels.
But several American scientists spoke out strongly against this idea. A study by the American College of Pediatricians shows that marijuana can have adverse effects on youth. It could increase consumption of marijuana among youth and decrease the perception of harm associated with the drug.
In response to this Sen. Liz Krueger said that cannabis is less dangerous to health than the same alcohol.
"And we’re not running around ruining people’s lives and locking them up for alcohol,” Krueger said. “So I just don’t know why we do it for cannabis.”