Good news, New Yorkers: legal recreational marijuana might be closer than you think. New York State legislators are making a serious push to make recreational cannabis legal via two new bills, Bill A3506 and Bill S3040. Also known as the “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” , these proposed laws would make marijuana as accessible and regulated as some of our other recreational drugs. For some reason, they’ve gone with “marihuana” spelling in the bill. That, or it’s a typo.
The bills would allow adults, i.e. eighteen-year-olds and up, to legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana. Anyone in New York would also be allowed to grow up to six plants at home. And they could purchase any other manner of cannabis products via a regulated dispensary. In short: it’d be on par with tobacco.
The bill doesn’t make it clear if there’s a limit on non-plant forms of THC like, say, edible possession or if that’s wide open.
In theory, the act would result as a win for all sides if made law. That’s, of course, largely due to the taxable income. From sales to payroll to all the other direct and indirect financial transactions that come with any commodity-driven businesses, marijuana creates jobs and injects sorely needed juice into basically any economy.
It’s about time New York officially joined the movement.
So What Happens Next?
“How can I help make this a reality?”, you may be asking yourself right now. Well, if you’re a New York resident, you could contact your local reps. Tell them why you think it’s important to de-stigmatize and legitimize this maligned culture. Tell them you want recreational marijuana.
Don’t know whom to call? Check here.
Movements like this are usually ground-up. Most politicians need to know that an issue is overwhelmingly popular before committing to something that might be culturally controversial for some of their constituents.
The proposed ‘marihuana’ act is likely inspired by recent cannabis victories in nearby progressive-leaning states Maine and Massachusetts in last year’s elections. The momentum of the national marijuana decriminalization movement is clearly getting to center/center-left state legislators.
This positive news comes in light of a recent rise in New York City’s petty weed arrests. Earlier this week Green Rush Daily reported that 2016 saw a 10% increase in marijuana busts in New York City. This growth spike ran counter to de Blasio’s statements that the NYPD had actually reduced such enforcements. So if the “marihuana” law is passed, many of the complaints about the enforcement of such minor infractions will become moot. And the NYPD can go back to servicing much more important agendas and quotas.
New York, of course, has long served as a cultural trendsetter. Once New York inevitably legalizes recreational marijuana, activists can start turning the remaining holdouts in the South and Midwest.