I received the following legislative alert. If you live in New York, now is a good time to contact your elected officials in the New York Legislature and let them know to support these bills:
Bills to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adults have been introduced in both the New York Senate and the Assembly. The bills — S3040 and A3506 — would allow adults 18 and over to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants. They also set up a regulatory system for businesses to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis to adults 21 and up. Please contact your legislators and ask them to support this sensible reform.
Other bills have been introduced to fix New York’s flawed decriminalization law, under which thousands of people — mostly young people of color — have been forced by police to empty their pockets and have then been arrested for having marijuana in public view. While these would be positive steps, a more comprehensive reform would do more to end arrests for low-level marijuana offenses. It would also improve public safety by taking marijuana out of the criminal market.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently acknowledged that “Individuals can miss work, be fired, [and] establish a record that prevents them from finding work in the future,” because of a marijuana arrest. Tell your legislators that New Yorkers shouldn’t have their futures hamstrung because they choose to use a substance safer than alcohol. Then, please pass this message along, and ask your friends and family to take action as well.
Kate M. Bell, Esq.
Marijuana Policy Project