The legislature in New York State is close to finalizing an agreement on a draft law aimed at legalizing marijuana in the state, according to Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Majority Leader of the state senate. Stewart-Cousins revealed that a consensus, followed by a floor vote, was imminent once the lawmakers agree on the way safety and traffic stops will be handled when marijuana is legalized for recreational adult-use.
The current disagreement has to do with how people driving under the influence should be treated. Some say impaired driving should be regarded as a normal traffic infraction while others insist it should be categorized as a misdemeanor.
Speaking from a law enforcement point of view, Monroe Country DA Sandra Doorley, who is also president of the association bringing together all the district attorneys in the state, revealed that when a driver impaired by marijuana is regarded as having committed a traffic infraction, members of the public are likely to regard impaired driving as a minor infraction similar to getting a ticket for exceeding the speed limit. Doorley adds that such an attitude would be wrong, given that driving under the influence of marijuana has the potential to put visitors and state residents at risk.
In a sign that the lawmakers are certain that an agreement will be reached, the state Senate as well as the state Assembly both removed cannabis from the provisions of the budget proposals they are considering.
Previous attempts to legalize recreational marijuana have ended in failure after lawmakers failed to agree on a number of sticking points, including how the revenue generated from taxes on marijuana would be spent as well as issues to do with the expungement of past cannabis convictions and the leeway local authorities would have regarding whether to allow recreational marijuana businesses within their jurisdictions. Gov. Cuomo has wanted the state to have a significant say in how taxes from marijuana sales are spent while many lawmakers wanted the law to stipulate that a large chunk of marijuana taxes go to minority communities which bore the worst of the failed drug war.
Cuomo released a proposal in February adjusting his plans so that they are more aligned with the wishes of the lawmakers. This included making changes to his plan in order to allow licensed marijuana businesses to deliver recreational marijuana.
Pressure has been piling on the governor and legislators to pass a cannabis law after New Jersey legalized recreational cannabis through a ballot measure. It now seems that the time has come for Empire State residents to be granted access to legal recreational marijuana.
New York State lawmakers can get a glimpse of what’s to come by seeing what is happening in Canada where recreational cannabis was legalized more than two years ago. One company, Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) (OTCQB: PACRF), went public last year, and it already has several agreements and partnerships in place giving the company access to hundreds of premium cannabis cultivars and several hundred acres of farmland. All these developments mean jobs, ready-to-consume products, taxes and investment opportunities for ordinary residents.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) (OTCQB: PACRF) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/PACR
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