New York Puff-Puff-Passes Bill Legalizing Marijuana and Cuomo Signs It Into Law

Illustration for article titled New York Puff-Puff-Passes Bill Legalizing Marijuana and Cuomo Signs It Into Law
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Amidst his considerable PR troubles, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Wednesday that should serve as a breezy interlude of good news for New Yorkers who enjoy smoking weed but not the risk of criminalization that has long hovered overuse of the herb.

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On Tuesday night, the New York General Assembly voted to pass a measure legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana in the state and allowing for recreational sales to people 21 and older. Cuomo followed up by signing the bill into law on Wednesday, reports the Associated Press.

Though recreational sales of marijuana won’t begin in the state until 18 months have passed, the legislation now provides for the automatic expulsion of marijuana-related convictions in New York and police will no longer be able to arrest or prosecute people for having up to 3 ounces of marijuana in their possession. Last year, the NYPD arrested nearly 500 people for having weed.

“For too long the prohibition of cannabis disproportionately targeted communities of color with harsh prison sentences,” said Cuomo in a statement about the measure. “After years of hard work, this landmark legislation provides justice for long-marginalized communities, embraces new industry that will grow the economy, and establishes safety guards for the public.”

The new law includes workplace, school, housing and family court protections for people who like their ganja—a notable provision since weed smokers continue to face workplace repercussions (as high up as in the Biden administration) for their recreational activities. Despite the slate of states that have decriminalized cannabis in recent years, federal law still prohibits the use, sale and possession of marijuana.

The passage of the law in New York, however, means people there can toke up in public—though smoking or vaping marijuana is still prohibited in workplaces, hospitals and within 100 feet of a school.

As part of the legislation, the state says it will give 50 percent of marijuana sale licenses to people from underrepresented communities. New York plans to set a 9 percent sales tax on recreational weed peddled in the state, along with additional taxes and will use the expected millions of dollars in revenue to fund social services in communities targeted by the drug war as well as to support schools, drug treatment programs and to regulate the new law.

Writer, speaker, finesser, and a fly dresser. Jamaican-American currently chilling in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

Always knew that slick f*ck Cuomo would use this as his ace in the hole to save himself. The timing is ridiculously, transparently curious. This could have been done years ago, but Cuomo only acts like a democrat when it suits him. The rest of the time, he is as “democratic” as Joe Manchin. NYC pays the bills for upstate NY, not the other way around. This is one small step forward, but think of the lives ruined in between when this could have been done, and when it finally came to pass.

Now, if anyone could just locate or photoshop those Cuomo nipple ring-laden BDSM photos that would faux-disgust his supporters....