New York’s state legislature passed a bill Tuesday to legalize recreational marijuana, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would sign it. The state Senate voted 40-23 to pass the legislation. Later in the evening, the state Assembly voted 100-49 in favour of the bill.
If the bill is signed, the Empire State would become the 15th state in the country, along with the District of Columbia, to have legalized the drug for recreational use.
For too long the prohibition of cannabis disproportionately targeted communities of color with harsh prison sentences and after years of hard work, this landmark legislation provides justice for long-marginalized communities, embraces a new industry that will grow the economy, and establishes substantial safety guards for the public,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday night after the passage of the bill.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he supports the legislation on the basis of racial equity. “I think this bill goes a long way. I think there’s more to do after, but it goes a long way,” de Blasio said, according to WDTV ABC 11.
Black and Latino New Yorkers combined made up 94% of marijuana-related arrests by the New York Police Department in 2020, even though the city’s statistics show that the proportion of white New Yorkers using marijuana is considerably higher than that of either Latino or Black residents. According to a New York City health department survey, 24% of white residents reported using marijuana, compared with 14% of Black residents and 12% of Latino residents, over the two-year period of 2015-2016.
New York officials are launching an education and prevention campaign to reduce the risk of cannabis use among school-age children, and schools will be eligible for drug prevention and awareness programs. The state will also launch a study that examines cannabis’s effect on driving.
The bill will allow for localities to pass laws banning cannabis dispensaries and consumption licenses, with a deadline of nine months after legalization. If the bill is signed, legalization of the plant would be effective immediately but legal recreational sales would not be expected to begin for one or two years.
In other news – Shepherd Bushiri’s daughter Israella to be buried in Malawi on Thursday
Shepherd Bushiri said on Tuesday his daughter’s burial will take place on Thursday at Ntcheu Boma.
The families of prophet Shepherd Bushiri and prophetess Mary Bushiri would like to inform the general public that the remains of saint Israella Bushiri, who went to be with the Lord on the morning of March 29 2021 at a hospital in Kenya, will land at Kamuzu International Airport this Wednesday,” he said in a statement on Facebook. Learn more