April 1, 2019 / Brooklyn news / Leaves of Grass

Weed it and weep: State lawmakers fail to legalize marijuana ahead of 2020 budget deadline

Just said no: The state Legislature approved a $175 billion budget on Sunday that omits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to create a legal weed market in New York.
Brooklyn Paper
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Albany puff, puff, passed on marijuana legalization.

The state Legislature approved a $175 billion budget on Sunday that omits Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to create a legal weed market in New York.

Cuomo attributed the setback to disagreements over the nuts and bolts of legalization — insisting that state lawmakers haven’t fallen prey to reefer madness.

“In concept, we have an agreement,” Cuomo told reporters on Friday, “but the devil is in the details, and that’s going to take more time to work out.”

Cuomo announced a legalization scheme in January that gave municipal governments the ability to opt out of the state’s marijuana program, forbade the sale of marijuana to anyone under 21 years old, and promised to raise $300 million in annual state-tax revenue by the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Originally planned for inclusion in the 2020 budget, the governor hinted earlier this month that concerns over how the drug would be taxed, where that money would go, and safety concerns raised by law-enforcement and constituents had made the bill’s passage ahead of the budget’s April 1 deadline a long shot.

“There is a wide divide on marijuana,” Cuomo said on March 11. “I believe ultimately we can get there, and we must get there — I don’t believe we can get there in two weeks.”

State lawmakers still have an opportunity to pass new weed laws before the end of this year’s legislative session in June, and Cuomo described legalization as the major issue left over from budget negotiations.

“As far as what’s not going to get done and what’s going to get carried over, the main thing is probably going to be marijuana legalizati­on,” the governor said.

News of the legalization setback outraged drug reform advocates, including 200 members of the Start Smart New York coalition, who rallied outside the State Legislature on Wednesday in support of the bill.

Kassandra Frederique, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, described the legislature’s inability to reach a consensus ahead of the April 1 deadline as a failure of leadership, which will have very real consequences for New Yorkers.

“Each day marijuana legalization is not passed, someone is arrested, deported, evicted or loses custody of a child because of criminaliz­ation,” Frederique said. “Each day that New York’s leaders maintain prohibition, someone can’t pass a background check, has their parole revoked, or loses a job.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 4:56 pm, April 1, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Obama bin Laden from Kandahar says:
As long as we can abort our babies up to birth (and beyond), that is all that matters! He is doing a wonderful job, as a human and as our leader! Let’s please rename an airport in honor of this role model!
April 1, 2019, 6:07 pm
God says:
"As long as we can abort our babies up to birth (and beyond)" -Twatwaffle 2019 It's amazing what idiotic tripe stupid people will come up with. They are the same kind of inbred idiots who believe Alex Jones when he says "Sandyhook was a false flag". Humanity is doomed with dopes like this walking among us. Perhaps Darwin can help eradicate them.
April 1, 2019, 6:21 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Give the Governor a break: he's been smoking a lot of that killer Finger Lakes indica with Mike Bloomberg and he's feeling kinda slack right now. Two weeks just ain't gonna happen.
April 1, 2019, 6:35 pm
Joe Biden from My time says:
Good, lock up the druggies until they come to their senses. I did all I could help Nancy Reagan do just that!!
April 1, 2019, 9:55 pm
Tyler from pps says:
So... you missed the deadline. The legislative process doesn't magically stop for a year. Just do it. And add a supplementary item to the budget. This was extra revenue, a new stream, not adjusting the pie pieces.
April 2, 2019, 11:15 am
Harry Anslinger from Federal Building says:
Good luck ever getting legalization passed as a stand alone bill. Any suburban legislator that votes for it better have resumes ready to go. There will be reefer madness, every sort of scare tactic you can imagine, and outright threats to anyone inclined to vote yes. It will be a long, long time before pot is legal in New York, perhaps never.
April 2, 2019, 11:55 am
Pootrice Wallmahnn from Queens says:
These lazy do-nothings just sit on their BUTTS !!! Stuffing themselves full of spaghetti, while we sit here waiting for our DRUGS!!! Bits please?
April 3, 2019, 5:39 am

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