Marijuana Legalization. Governor Andrew Cuomo OF New York declared that he plans on legalizing marijuana in New York. In a recent report by a Cuomo administration panel, “Marijuana should be legalized for recreational use in New York State. “The legalization and regulation of marijuana will be beneficial to the public health, generate “substantial” tax revenue and reduce inordinate effects of confinement and criminalization on black communities. Cuomo’s administrative panel also said “the advantages of a regulated marijuana market in [New York State] are more than the potential disadvantages.
The recommendation of the panel includes:
The state should clean the criminal records of people who were involved in marijuana-related offenses.
According to an analysis conducted by the state Department of Health and the Department of Taxation, the estimated total tax revenue of the state of New York for the first year of legalization ranges from $248.1 million to $677.7 million. New York State would gain $435.7 million annually in tax revenue for legalized weed: New York City would get about $336 million.
According to Jack Porcari, an advocate for legalization, “the report is amazing.”
Jack Porcari is an 18-year-old Amherst resident who will go to college this fall. He has epilepsy, and according to the panel’s report, it could help medical marijuana users like him to get more affordable treatment alternatives.
Porcari said marijuana legalization could minimize transport cost and marijuana sales. Other methods of marijuana consumption like a gummy form of the drug, could also be legalized.
Porcari said he is happy with the panel’s recommendation to clean criminal records of people who were convicted for marijuana possession.
According to Porcari, smoking marijuana is not something people shouldn’t misinterpret.
He added that it’s difficult to get employed after a marijuana-related conviction, and by cleaning those criminal records, it’ll make it easier for those with criminal records get better jobs.
According to Dr. Howard Zucker who is the State Health Commissioner, last month the panel would recommend marijuana legalization.
The report from the panel results from Cuomo’s request in January for a study on the issue. The governor received criticism for his decision on legalizing marijuana. Cuomo was previously against the legalization of recreational marijuana and called it a “gateway drug.”
Nine states nationwide including Washington, D.C., have made cannabis legal for people over the age of 21. Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit has stated its intention to end marijuana prohibition. Marijuana prohibition could increase tourism, as seen in the states of Colorado and Washington.
The report was generated with input from various state organization alongside “subject matter experts” in different fields.
According to the panel’s conclusion, “no insurmountable obstacles to the regulation of marijuana were raised,”
The committee also stated that if the state chooses legalization, further analysis of issues which deals with enactment would be needed.
Cynthia Nixon, who is Cuomo’s opponent in the Democratic primary, accused the governor of using the marijuana as a tool to distract from people from the conviction of a top state official.
According to Lauren Hitt who is campaign spokeswoman for Cynthia Nixon, “Gov. Cuomo has supervised the criminalization of colored communities with drug policy chief among the tools used to do so. Cuomo’s panel supports the legalization of marijuana legalization to distract people from the conviction of Alain Kaloyeros, the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute who the governor put in charge of implementing the Buffalo Billion program.” Nixon has supported the legalization of marijuana since the start of her campaign.