NY lawmakers finalizing bill to regulate recreational marijuana
Some New York lawmakers are working on finalizing an agreement to regulate the recreational use of marijuana across the state.
The final version of the law could be ready to vote on next week, according to the Associated Press.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been a longtime supporter of regulating marijuana, but the bill fell through in the past partly due to how sales tax revenue would be handled.
New Jersey and Massachusetts have already legalized marijuana.
Massachusetts collected $122 million in tax revenue from cannabis sales over its first two years, according to their state data. That money went to funding schools, transit and other local and state needs.
In New York, the revenue could go to the state and local communities of color impacted by the decades-long drug war.
The details of the state bill are still unknown, but Assembly member Kenny Burgos told News 12 what the new reality may look like once the law passes.
"We're going to treat this like we treat every regulated substance...like alcohol, cigarettes," Burgos says. "It's not where you can smoke freely down the streets. For adults over 21 who can smoke freely in their home or designated smoking areas, like they've done with cigarettes where you can't smoke at a bar anymore or at a restaurant, but there are designated areas."
Gov. Cuomo's office estimates that legal marijuana purchases could eventually bring the state $350 million every year. He said making it legal in the state was a priority for him this year.