New York Legalizes Marijuana
New York state passed a law legalizing recreational marijuana, thus joining 14 other states in the United States where an adult can smoke a joint without being worried by police.
The New York law, goes further than those endorsed by other states, and is intended as a model of social justice: it plans to distribute part of sales revenues – some 350 million dollars per year, for a tax of 9% – to communities with large black and Latino populations, the most affected by the crackdown on cannabis use.
It also plans to systematically purge the criminal records of people who had been convicted of acts which, with the new law, will no longer be considered as criminal.
“For too long, the cannabis ban has disproportionately targeted people of color with heavy prison sentences,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
Once all the implementing decrees are in place and the first dispensaries open – which is not expected until 2022 – the law will allow adults 21 and over to buy cannabis and grow plants at home for their own benefit. personal consumption.
The law also removes the penalties for possession of three ounces of the drug (85 grams), the new personal possession limit. And the program that allowed for the distribution of medical marijuana will be expanded.
Leader of the Democrats in the US Senate, New Yorker Chuck Schumer thanked the lawmakers behind the text, and assured that he would “continue to work to end the ban on marijuana at the federal level “.
If the New York law was applauded by many elected Democrats, the elected Republican generally opposed it.
Some, including the Parent Teacher Association in New York State, a powerful association of teachers and parents, fear the law may make it easier for children and adolescents to access cannabis.
Others are worried about an increase in road accidents: while the law prohibits driving under the influence of cannabis, the test which will allow a reliable test, on the model of the breathalyzer, does not yet exist , although research should accelerate.
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