New York Governor To Send Amended Marijuana Legalization Plan To Lawmakers Amid Criticism

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The governor of New York said on Monday that he will be sending an amended version of his marijuana legalization proposal to the legislature this week, with hopes of striking a deal to pass the reform through the budget ahead of an April 1 deadline. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said during a press briefing that while he and lawmakers “don’t have an agreement yet,” he believes “we’re making progress.” The comments come as leading legislators and cannabis reform advocates have harshly criticized aspects of Cuomo’s initial plan that he proposed as part of his budget last month. “I’m sending an amended bill. Legalizing recreational marijuana is something we’ve tried to do for several years,” the governor said. “It is overdue in my opinion—you have people who are incarcerated for crimes that, frankly, they shouldn’t have a record on.” Watch the governor discuss marijuana legalization developments below:  He added that the state also needs revenue from adult-use cannabis sales—a point he’s repeatedly emphasized since making the budget request. Especially amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cuomo says legalization represents one tool that could be used to fill a massive budget gap. But it’s that line of thinking that has caused some splintering within the legislature over his proposal. While there’s generally consensus that New York should enact a regulated marijuana market, several top legislators have criticized Cuomo’s plan as prioritizing tax revenue while not doing enough to address the harms of the drug war. Specifically, advocates and lawmakers have said that the governor’s proposal provides insufficient funding for social equity grants to ensure that people most impacted by cannabis prohibition are able to participate in the legal industry. They’ve also taken issue with certain provisions like one that would increase penalties for selling cannabis to people under 21—making it a class D felony punishable…

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Source : New York Governor To Send Amended Marijuana Legalization Plan To Lawmakers Amid Criticism

reposted by Cannabis News World

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