Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NY cannabis legalization bill includes resentencing

New York turns an eye toward recreational marijuana legalization:

"The political winds blowing around marijuana have shifted and New York should be the next state to legalize marijuana, argued one state senator in a recent panel [at] Brooklyn Law School.... The school's Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) on November 6 hosted ... the largest cannabis policy reform event ever held in New York.

"State Senator Liz Krueger said ... prohibition prevents the state and private entrepreneurs from capitalizing on the full economic potential of cannabis.... Krueger has proposed legalizing marijuana statewide.

"In June, Krueger re-introduced New York State Senate Bill S3040A, dubbed the 'Marihuana Regulation and Taxation ACT' (MRTA). It’s currently idling in committee where the two previous iterations of the bill died, she said.

"New York is one of 29 states which have legalized medical marijuana.... It initially only allowed patients with illnesses including cancer, AIDS, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease to consume smokeless forms of cannabis. The state added chronic pain as a qualifying condition last March, and Saturday ... post-traumatic stress disorder....

"Krueger’s latest push at marijuana legislation would establish a legal market for adult-use cannabis in the state, with the product taxed and regulated like alcohol. However, the latest version also frames legalization as a matter of criminal justice reform....

"The bill would expand resentencing and reclassification of crimes for people previously convicted for marijuana, remove a positive marijuana test as justification for violating a person’s parole or probation and protect against discrimination in housing and employment based on a prior marijuana arrest or off-the-clock marijuana use."

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