After months of debate and negotiations, New York’s bill to legalize marijuana has reached a dead end for the time being. There had been increased pressure by lawmakers and marijuana advocates to pass the bill in this legislative session which came to an end on Wednesday.
There had been no consensus regarding the details of the bill, even though the broad aspect of legalized cannabis had gained quite a number of supporters. The lawmakers had a slightly different idea than that of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed regulatory framework. The decision was stalled on Sunday night due to stubborn negotiations. They reached an impasse on the distribution of marijuana generated tax revenue.
Wednesday Saw End Of Legislative Session As Well As Of The Bill’s Run
There was also a disagreement on the provision allowing retail sales. The lawmakers opted for a provision that would allow localities to opt for the retail selling of cannabis. If this provision is not added, the chamber might withdraw its support. However, Cuomo is firm on an opt-out provision allowing cannabis sales all over the state.
Even after being a priority for Cuomo and continuous pressure by lawmakers, the bill failed to get passed. New Jersey’s effort to pass the marijuana bill also faced a roadblock. After no mention of the bill in the budget presented in April, just last week, new bills were introduced. However, these cannabis bills have higher tax rates and a lower quantity amount that can be used by adults.
The legalization of the bill would have brought forward clear and definite regulations around the cannabis industry. Also, it would have brought in tax revenue for the state. Furthermore, it could have obliterated the criminal charges against those previously convicted for dealing marijuana. Even though this might be a victory for those opposing legalization, it is not permanent, as claimed by Sen. Liz Krueger. The opposition is equally resilient in not letting these policies and regulations through. They are claiming them to be hazardous to the health and safety of the public at large. The battle to legalize cannabis is on, and the road ahead is long.