New York Parliament Gives Green Light for Legalization of Cannabis
The New York State Parliament has agreed to legalize possession of cannabis for personal use.
This has foremost consequences for people who have been convicted in the past of crimes related to the possession of the soft drug. They can now be removed from their criminal records.
The proposal received widespread support in both houses of the state parliament. Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to sign the bill but has already made it clear that he will. New York thus follows the lead of the fourteen other states and several US territories that had already legalized cannabis.
Proponents speak of a historic decision. Democratic MP Crystal Peoples-Stokes likened the legalization of cannabis to lifting the alcohol ban in 1933, reports The New York Post. Governor Cuomo said that minorities, in particular, were often the victims of the old policies. They are said to have received long prison sentences disproportionately often.
Residents of New York will soon be allowed to carry 85 grams of the drug. A more significant amount may be kept at home. Households may also have up to 12 cannabis plants for personal use. The newspaper writes that the drug may already be legally available for sale next year. Users must be at least 21 years old.
New York authorities expect the new policy to create tens of thousands of jobs. It could also generate USD 350 million (nearly EUR 300 million) in additional tax revenue annually.
Not everyone is waiting for the legalization of the soft drug. Critics believe that young people can now get the impression that drug use is fine. Republican MP Rob Ortt predicted that the legislation would be detrimental to state residents’ health and safety.