[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]N[/dropcap]ew York State officials announced on June 19 that a legal cannabis bill will not be considered this legislative term due to lack of time.
New York State’s legislative session ran through June 19, which put an official end to a bill that was sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger, who admitted the news on her Twitter page. “Unfortunately, it is now clear that #MRTA will not pass this session. This is only a delay, but that delay means countless lives will continue to be upended by unnecessary enforcement. I will continue to push for #MarijuanaJustice and a rational, legal adult-use policy,” she wrote.
If the cannabis bill had passed, it would have created a new state agency that would regulate cannabis, expunge the records of those who had been convicted of possessing cannabis, and set aside a portion of tax revenue for communities that were disproportionately affected by cannabis arrests.
While cannabis advocates applauded the bill for its thorough planning and attention to those who are marginalized by drug laws, opponents felt that the bill was “too much too soon,” according to the Wall Street Journal, and were not ready to go all in with legalization.
Still, this upset many who felt the state could have turned around its reputation—and the lives of its citizens—with the passing of this law. “Comprehensive reform would have been an enormous economic driver for struggling communities across the state,” said Drug Policy Alliances Deputy New York State Director, Melissa Moore, to the Wall Street Journal. “But in a moment when they had a clear avenue for building up marginalized communities, they chose not to act. It’s pathetic.”
Lately, New York officials have been making an effort to change their image when it comes to cannabis. Pre-employment testing for cannabis was recently banned, and many advocates have been lobbying to legalize cannabis within the state.