A bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New York has been introduced (once again) in the state senate.
Sen. Liz Krueger (D) filed the “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” last week, which would allow the legal use, production, and sale of marijuana. Krueger, a long-time activist for marijuana reform, introduced the same bill last year, however it didn’t come close to gaining the support it needed to become a law. This year, marijuana proponents are hoping the continued success of legalization in Colorado and recent reform in Oregon, Alaska, and D.C. will force the New York Senate to take the bill more seriously.
The bill reads, “(the bill) enacts the ‘marihuana regulation and taxation act’; relates to the description of marihuana, and the growing of and use of marihuana by persons eighteen years of age or older; makes technical changes regarding the definition of marihuana; relates to the qualification of certain offenses involving marihuana and exempts certain persons from prosecution for the use, consumption, display, production or distribution of marihuana; provides for the licensure of persons authorized to produce, process and sell marihuana; levies and excise tax on certain sales of marihuana; repeals certain provisions of the penal law relating to the criminal sale of marihuana and provisions of the general business law relating to drug paraphernalia; makes an appropriation therefor."
While I think the bill would be taken more seriously without the gringo spelling of “mah-ree-huah-nah”, who knows how the sympathies of the senate may have changed this past year alongside increased national acceptance of— okay, marihuana. New York took its first step (albeit a small one) toward marijuana reform earlier this year, so though the state's been labeled the “marijuana arrest capital of the world,” it could be trying to change. Watching the progress (or lack thereof) of this bill over time will tell.