New York Marijuana Legalization Talks At ‘An Impasse’ Over Impaired Driving Policy

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Negotiations over a bill to legalize marijuana in New York have “reached a little bit of an impasse” over a provision related to impaired driving, a top senator said on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) gave a status update on talks between the legislature and the governor’s office, which have been working steadily to reach a deal on cannabis reform legislation. And while impaired driving policy seems to be a sticking point, the leader said she’s “optimistic it will be resolved sooner than later.” That optimism has been echoed by all parties in recent days, as legislators prepare to bring a legalization proposal to the floor. Stewart-Cousins said on a call with reporters that they are “extremely close” to an agreement, despite the remaining sticking points. “We’re trying to figure a way forward so that there can be some understanding of safety,” she said. “I’m optimistic it can be resolved sooner rather than later.” She also said “it’s no secret how disparately impacted Black and Brown communities have been by the disproportionate arrests and incarcerations by people with marijuana” and that legalization is “a matter of when, not if.” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on the legalization of marijuana: "It's a matter of when, not if." — Chris Horvatits (@ChrisHorvatits4) March 16, 2021 Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) similarly said on Monday that action is imminent and that lawmakers are aiming to advance legalization before passing the budget, which is due by April 1. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) unveiled his reform proposal, he insisted that it needed to be approved as part of the budget, but he seems to have backed down on that strategy. Heastie said that he thinks “the executive is moving closer to where” the sponsors of a separate piece of legislation to end…

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Source : New York Marijuana Legalization Talks At ‘An Impasse’ Over Impaired Driving Policy

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