New York State Senate passes bill legalizing recreational marijuana by a vote of 40 – 23
There is an increased demand for marijuana globally; why? Besides its recreational effects, it is also loaded with medicinal goodness, which explains why numerous states in America are swift with legalizing recreational marijuana.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken the lead by signing a legislation passed by lawmakers to legalize recreational marijuana. The New York Senate voted on the said day 40-23 to pass the legislation, and later the state assembly voted 100-49 to favor the bill.
So New York becomes the 15th state in the District of Columbia to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the day as a "Historic day" and one that creates a path towards securing marijuana as a legal entity.
The significance of the bill
Gov. Cuomo also reinstated that the bill's passage is meant to reduce the impact of prohibiting cannabis targeted at communities of color. After many years of hard work towards ensuring this bill is passed, the legislation makes it possible for the new cannabis industry to grow the economy.
The legal industry will also ensure substantial safety for the public when they use marijuana. The bill will also go a long way in giving those with health challenges access to medical marijuana.
The minority and colored communities challenge
Although there is a sense of general acceptance for marijuana which has encouraged states like New York to legalize it, there is more to the story. In New York, black and Latino citizens make up 94% of the marijuana-related arrests in the state in 2020.
These numbers are quite disturbing, considering that more white people are using marijuana than Latinos and blacks. A report from the New York City Health department states that 24% of white citizens use marijuana which is higher than the 14% and 12% of black and Latino residents.
This discourse on minority communities is critical because it shows just how essential the New York legislative move is because it will protect the minority communities from being targeted by the Police when they get marijuana "illegally."
The new law allows all adults from the age of 21 or older to buy cannabis from authorized sellers and possess only up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Young people's lives in New York will no longer be destroyed by a lack of cannabis regulation or having marijuana because it is termed "illegal." This legalization process has also ensured marijuana justice by ensuring that communities no longer suffer mass incarceration for marijuana possession.
So marijuana justice, the protection of minority communities, and giving marijuana a legal standing are some of New York's benefits with the senate bill.
There are also several immense financial implications of this development that we will discuss shortly. Below we'll highlight how marijuana can contribute to the state's economy.
The financial implications of marijuana legalization in New York
The office of the Governor mentioned that the development of cannabis for adult-use would create 30,000-60,000 jobs in New York. The new legal marijuana industry will also give New York more than $300 million in taxes annually.
More so, the New York States Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act is set to add 13% tax to retail sales for both state and local tax revenues. Now, these taxes will be set up in a New York State cannabis revenue fund, and the remaining costs divided into different funds:
The first is the New York education system (this is 40%)
The second is the Community Grants Reinvestment Funds (this is also 40%.
The third sector is the Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund (this is 20%).
These figures from legalizing and taxing marijuana show only a fraction of the considerable revenue that will come into the New York coffers. There is also an additional projected annual $2 billion revenue if marijuana is allowed to flourish in the state.
New York also had to ensure the legalization of marijuana because enforcing and ensuring people use marijuana well when it was not legalized costs a lot of money. Such prohibitions can costs up to $7.7 billion annually, but now that marijuana has been legalized, such prohibitions will not be required.
The cities, and counties in New York are allowed to opt-out of permitting adults from using cannabis dispensaries or other on-site consumption licenses. But these cities, or counties CANNOT opt out of general adult use of cannabis. That is a public New York legalization process accepted by the senate and the Governor.
Legalizing cannabis in New York also helps create jobs, thus boosting the state's capacity to empower its citizens most effectively and productively.
Marijuana is not going to disappear suddenly; it has become a vital part of our culture as people seek health and recreational benefits.
New York is also encouraging potential investors through its friendly cannabis stance. Without a shred of doubt, there will be an avalanche of cannabis startups in New York trying to maximize the values and legal standing of marijuana in New York.
New York is one of the American states that has taken proactive measures towards legalizing marijuana, and it is a commendable move that secures cannabis in the state.
For too many years, the damaging press cannabis received for being the cause of drug abuse affected its reputation, and now the state of New York has taken a huge step that'll further help to correct that negative impression.
States who have not legalized cannabis will need to do so as they see the positive impact legalization is having on other regions who have legalized marijuana.
Although legalized sales will begin in one or two years, this legalization process is the first and best step in the right direction. If all other states take the same legal step as New York, America will accept marijuana as the super plant it is entirely.
Do you stay in New York? What do you think of the current legal status of cannabis in the state? Drop your opinion in the comment section below.