New York Lawmakers to Consider Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in 2015


New York City Diesel.

The 2015 legislative session doesn’t start for another four moths, but New York state Sen. Liz Krueger says she’s readying a bill that would legalize the recreational use of limited amounts of pot for adults 21 and up.
The bill will be based on originally introduced last December that never made it out of committee, but Kreuger’s office says it will be further amended to be more palatable to other lawmakers.

“We’re definitely introducing the bill next session,” a Krueger staffer told The Huffington Post. “We’ve received a variety of feedback since we first introduced it last December and we’re working on amending it, so we’re looking to see what we can learn from Colorado and Washington when we reintroduce it.”
As it stands now, the bill would allow for legal cannabis shops, regulated by the state Liquor Authority. Pot would be taxed at the point of sale and be allowed to buy up to two ounces at a time. Home cultivation would also be allowed, with each adult allowed up to six plants at any one time. If passed by lawmakers, New Yorkers would not have to vote on the law. It would go into effect immediately.
The bill would face some huge hurdles, though. Notably New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said repeatedly that he would not allow for a Colorado-style legalization in the Empire State.
Kruegers bill would also help eliminate some of the racially-biased policing in New York state and New York City.
“The real motivation [for Krueger’s upcoming bill]came from the disparate impacts of the drug war on different communities, how communities of color — especially in New York City — are facing large amounts of marijuana arrests based on these interpretations of existing law,” Krueger’s staff told HuffPost.
As much as 87 percent of the 50,000 New York City arrests for pot each year are black and Latinos.