New York Lawmakers Slam Governor’s Marijuana Legalization Plan While Touting Legislature’s Own Bill

MJ moment

New York lawmakers had some choice words for the governor’s marijuana legalization proposal on Thursday, describing it as “watered down” and “all wrong” because they feel it inadequately addresses social equity and instead values revenue generation over justice. During a press conference, Senate and Assembly members and reform advocates took Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to task over the legalization plan he outlined in his budget request last month. Legislative leaders said the proposal shows that the governor isn’t serious about enacting the policy change and called for the passage of a bill out of the legislature instead. “My position has been, and it still is, that [Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act] should be passed on the floor of the legislature,” Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D) said, referring to a separate plan filed by lawmakers. “We’ve seen the governor’s proposal for the third time. Okay, now let us put our proposal out there, get it passed by the legislature and then we’ll begin to negotiate with the governor.” This is the third year in a row that Cuomo has included a legalization proposal in his budget plan. The last two times, negotiations with the legislature stalled amid disagreements over certain components such as the tax structure for the market and funding for social equity programs. “Clearly, his tax proposals are all wrong. Clearly, his social equity proposals are wrong,” Peoples-Stokes said of the governor’s latest attempt. “There are a number of things that need to be fixed, and if they’re not fixed, then we’ll be here next year trying to do the same thing.” The majority leader, who made similar comments about the path forward for legalization last week, added that advocates and lawmakers “need to probably start pounding a little harder—not just on the governor, but on people across…

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Source : New York Lawmakers Slam Governor’s Marijuana Legalization Plan While Touting Legislature’s Own Bill

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