New York Marijuana Legalization Fails in Last-Minute Effort


2019-06-24 15:08:00 Weedmaps


A push to legalize adult-use marijuana in New York has failed after state leaders did not reach a consensus on several key details in the final days of the legislative session. Democratic state Sen. Liz Krueger, the lead sponsor of the main legalization bill in her chamber, confirmed June 19, 2019, that her legislation would not pass this year. "Through months of negotiation and conversation ... we made great strides," she said in a statement. "We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of time." Despite broad support for legalization and polls showing its statewide popularity, lawmakers couldn't agree on the many details of legalization, such as how tax revenue should be spent, whether past convictions should be expunged, and whether local communities could opt out of hosting dispensaries or instead would have to opt in. For supporters who had hoped the fourth-most populous U.S. state would soon join the growing list of states where adult-use marijuana is legal, the failure of the bill was a significant disappointment. They'll now turn their attention toward 2020, an election year, in which legalization may be an even tougher political challenge. Melissa Moore, New York state deputy director for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), a drug-law reform organization, said lawmakers squandered an opportunity and left a stream of new tax revenue and tens of thousands of new jobs on the table by not passing the proposal. “As a whole, this could have been an enormous economic engine for the state,” she said. “Instead, what we have right now is continuation of the status quo.” With lawmakers set to adjourn in mid-June 2019, some supporters hope there is time to pass a more modest bill to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of marijuana and create a process for people to clear their records of past pot convictions. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proposed his own legalization legislation back in January 2019, said he would support further decriminalization. Under current law, those caught with small amounts of marijuana are subject to fines, and not misdemeanor charges. But police can still arrest people for smoking pot in public, a wrinkle legalization advocates say is too often used to target young racial minorities. “Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long and it has to end,” Cuomo said in a statement on June 19, 2019. “The time to act is now.” The so-called “Plan B” bill would also expand access to the state's medical marijuana program and seek to boost the state's hemp industry. Illinois is poised to become the 11th state to legalize adult-use marijuana after lawmakers in that state approved legalization legislation in late May 2019. Two of New York's neighbors, Massachusetts and Vermont, have already taken the step. Cuomo included his legalization proposal in his state budget recommendation but pulled the measure after lawmakers couldn't reach consensus. He warned at the time that the decision to consider marijuana legalization on its own would make it harder to pass. The effort lost further momentum when lawmakers in next-door New Jersey failed to pass their own legalization efforts. Dozens of demonstrators rallied at the New York Capitol in Albany on June 19, highlighting the marijuana legislation and other proposals they said were not properly prioritized. Demonstrator Pilar DeJesus expressed sharp frustration that Democrats could not pass marijuana legalization and said marijuana has been used to criminalize people of color for decades. "We need to stop ruining lives with prohibition," she said. -- David Klepper and Ryan Tarinelli
在纽约州的领导人在立法会议最后几天未能就几个关键细节达成共识之后,将成年大麻合法化的努力失败了。 民主党参议员。她所在商会的主要合法化法案的主要发起人利兹·克鲁格( LizKrueger )于2019年6月19日确认,她的立法今年不会通过。 “经过几个月的谈判和谈话。。。我们取得了巨大的进步,”她在一份声明中说。“我们非常接近终点线,但我们没时间。” 尽管广泛支持合法化和民意调查显示其在全州广受欢迎,但议员们不能就合法化的许多细节达成一致,比如税收应该如何使用、过去的定罪是否应该被驱逐,以及当地社区是否可以选择不托管药房,或者不得不选择加入。 对于那些曾希望美国人口第四多的州能很快加入成年人使用大麻合法的州名单的支持者来说,该法案的失败令人失望。他们现在将把注意力转向2020年,这是一个选举年,在这一年,合法化可能是一个更严峻的政治挑战。 纽约药法改革组织药物政策联盟( DPA )的副主任梅丽莎·摩尔( MelissaMoore )说,立法者浪费了一个机会,通过不通过提案,留下了大量新的税收和数万个新工作岗位。 她表示:“总体而言,这可能是一个巨大的经济引擎。”“相反,我们现在拥有的是维持现状。” 由于立法者将于2019年6月中旬休庭,一些支持者希望有时间通过一项更为温和的法案,取消对持有大麻的刑事处罚,并建立一个让人们清理过去大麻定罪记录的程序。 民主政府.安德鲁·库莫( AndrewCuomo )早在2019年1月就提出了自己的合法化立法,他说他将支持进一步的合法化。根据现行法律,那些被少量大麻捕获的人将受到罚款,而不是轻罪指控。但警方仍可以在公众场合逮捕因吸烟壶而吸烟的人,一位倡导合法化的人士说,这种做法太经常被用来针对年轻的少数民族。 库莫在2019年6月19日的一份声明中表示:“有色人种受到有关大麻的法律的不成比例的影响已经太久了,它必须结束。”“现在是采取行动的时候了。” 所谓的“ B 计划”法案也将扩大该州医用大麻项目的使用范围,并寻求促进该州大麻产业的发展。 伊利诺伊州将成为2019年5月底该州立法者批准合法化立法后,允许成年人使用大麻合法化的第11个州。纽约的两个邻居马萨诸塞州和佛蒙特州已经迈出了这一步。 库莫在他的州预算建议中列入了他的合法化建议,但在立法者无法达成共识后,他取消了这项措施。 他当时警告说,单凭考虑大麻合法化的决定,将使通过大麻变得更加困难。当邻近的新泽西州的立法者未能通过他们自己的合法化努力时,这一努力失去了进一步的动力。 6月19日,数十名示威者聚集在奥尔巴尼的纽约国会大厦( New York Capitol ),强调大麻立法和其他他们认为没有得到适当优先考虑的提案。 示威者 PilarDeJesus 对民主党无法通过大麻合法化表示强烈不满,并表示几十年来大麻一直被用来将有色人种定为犯罪。 她说:“我们必须禁止破坏生命。” --大卫·克莱珀和瑞安·塔里内利