Published on December 12th, 2013 | by Rhonda Winter0
Is New York the Next US State to Legalize Marijuana?
This week New York Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried announced that they will introduce legislation to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for adults in their state. If successfully passed, the law would allow those who are eighteen and older to possess up to two ounces of weed for personal use and grow up to six plants; citizens who are at least 21 would also be allowed purchase pot in retail locations.
At a press conference held on Wednesday, Senator Krueger said that while alcohol use and smoking tobacco are proven to be much more damaging to our health, these substances remain legal and regulated, so it seems very sensible to treat marijuana, which is much less harmful, in the same manner:
“I don’t believe a drug that is proven to be less dangerous, from a health perspective, than alcohol or tobacco should be under laws that actually criminalize and ruin lives when alcohol or tobacco are regulated and taxed.”
The Manhattan Democrat explained why these pot reforms are much-needed, as well as the many ways that the current cannabis prohibition policies have failed miserably:
“The illegal marijuana economy is alive and well, and our unjust laws are branding nonviolent New Yorkers, especially young adults, as criminals, creating a vicious cycle that ruins lives and needlessly wastes taxpayer dollars…We’re spending taxpayer money to ruin lives, disproportionately for those from communities of color, with no real public policy goal to be found in any of it.”
Legal Weed Movement Grows
These sensible policy changes echo other cannabis reforms that have already been happening around the nation and the world; marijuana is already legal in Washington and Colorado, and Uruguay just became the first modern country to create a legal nationwide pot business. And legal weed would undoubtedly be most welcome by most New Yorkers, as it is the state which, according to the ACLU, arrests many more of its residents for pot possession than any other region in our nation.