New York Governor Says Budget Uses Marijuana Revenue For Social Equity, With Details Forthcoming

MJ moment

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday previewed expected revenue from a legal marijuana program he’s proposing through his annual budget, with more detailed legislative language set to be released later in the day. The governor has repeatedly argued that taxing and regulating cannabis will help fill a historic, $15 billion budget deficit. And while the projected $350 million in annual revenue from marijuana taxes won’t resolve the problem on its own, it represents one opportunity to boost an economy that has suffered amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We also propose legalizing adult-use cannabis, which would raise about $350 million,” Cuomo said in his budget speech, adding that “$100 million would go to a social equity fund. That would still give us $250 million towards the budget and our needs.” Watch Cuomo discuss his marijuana legalization proposal below: While it’s not immediately clear what that social equity fund would entail, it’s a notable component that advocates are closely monitoring. An outline of his budget plan similarly said the proposal will “correct past harms by investing in areas that have disproportionally been impacted by the war on drugs.” Cuomo has twice pitched legalization through the budget, but reform legislation has stalled in part because of disagreements about how to allocate tax revenue. The governor has generally favored putting the monies in the state’s general fund, while leading legislators and activists have pushed for a more targeted distribution centering communities most impacted by the drug war. If the outline and this latest speech are any indication, it seems Cuomo may be coming around to the latter proposal. But again, the full details of the plan will come when actual legislative language is released later on Tuesday. In any case, the legislature will have more influence this year after Senate Democrats secured a…

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Source : New York Governor Says Budget Uses Marijuana Revenue For Social Equity, With Details Forthcoming

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