New York Rallying for Marijuana Legalization, But May Fall Two Votes Short

It’s the last chance for marijuana legalization in New York State in 2019. Legislators in Albany have until Wednesday, June 19 to make a decision.

For the last few weeks, supporters have been pushing back against the perception that the legalization bill won’t pass. Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemingly lost interest after it wasn’t included in the state budget at the end of March.

On June 5, the Democrat & Chronicle identified which Senators were supporting the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MARTA), weren’t and were leaning either pro or con.

In favor: Bailey, Biaggi, Carlucci, Comrie, Gianaris, Gounardes, Hoylman, Jackson, Kennedy, Krueger, Liu, May, Montgomery, Myrie, Parker, Ramos, Rivera, Salazar, Sanders, Savino, Sepulveda, Serrano, Stewart-Cousins, Thomas

Against: Brooks, Kaplan, Persaud, Martinez

Leaning in favor: Addabbo, Benjamin, Breslin, Kavanagh, Metzger, Skoufis

Leaning against: Gaughran, Harckham, Kaminsky, Mayer

Undecided: Stavisky

With 63 members, 32 Senators need to vote in favor for a bill to pass. Counting those in favor and leaning in favor, there are 30 votes. Apparently, no one has switched sides in the last two weeks despite increasing pressure from advocates to do so. The Senate is comprised of 39 Democrats, 22 Republicans and two unaffiliated. That means nine Democrats are currently not in support of MARTA. The State Assembly is in favor of the bill.

Today, June 17, one of the state’s largest newspapers, the Daily News, reiterated its support for legalization, which would create an equitable commercial market, earmark taxes for treatment programs and education, expunge possession convictions and allow for limited home growing.

“After fits and starts, as the session draws to a close, the Assembly and Senate have a chance to make New York only the second state to legalize use of the drug through the legislative process,” the editorial reads. “We urge all sides to get it done, because the bill under consideration makes a series of responsible choices about how to structure the legal cannabis market.”

Actually, New York would be the the third state to pass legislative legalization – Vermont did in 2018 (but without a commercial market) and just two weeks ago Illinois became the second – and the 12th overall in the country.

Freedom Leaf wholeheartedly supports MRTA and hopes the bill will come to a floor vote by Wednesday and pass in a squeaker.

RELATED

New York State of Cannabis: Will Legalization Happen?

Northeast Legalization Notebook: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Cannabis Legalization in New Jersey Goes Back to the Drawing Board

The post New York Rallying for Marijuana Legalization, But May Fall Two Votes Short appeared first on Freedom Leaf.

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