New York is at the verge of reviewing its marijuana laws. There has been a recent wave of Marijuana Legalization in other States. What move is Gov. Robert Cuomo about to take?
The topic on legalization of marijuana in U.S.A States has ignited a passionate nationwide debate. As Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor would put it, it is important to back arguments on marijuana legalization with facts. Cuomo has called upon the New York lawmakers to expedite the approval of a budget aimed at carrying out research work on marijuana.
Purpose of Marijuana legalization research funding
The proposed budget is intended to fund a study on the effects marijuana legalization in Vermont, New Jersey and Massachusetts would have on the people of New York. The funding will also go into examining the likely obstacles that New York State would experience if Marijuana laws were to be relaxed. It is to be remembered that prosecutors have been given more freedom by Trump’s administration with respect to handling Marijuana laws at the federal level.
Motivation for the research
Recent research shows that for every 10 Americans 6 are in support of legalization of marijuana . The numbers are projected to rise with time. Eventually New York would have to respond to the increasing number of States legalizing recreational marijuana.
Cuomo responded to the news that more than 9 states have legalized marijuana by initiating the said research. Two neighbouring states i.e. Vermont and Massachusetts have already approved the legalization of weed. Vermont lawmakers, in 2016, voted to legalize pot while Massachusetts residents voted to approve Marijuana use in the same year.
Phil Murphy, the incoming governor for New Jersey is openly in support of legalizing recreational marijuana. His influence is likely to lead to weed legalization in New Jersey. Eventually Cuomo would have to do something about the marijuana legalization euphoria around his Neighboring States.
The study is to be championed by the New York health department in collaboration with NYPD and other relevant agencies. Their primary role will be examining the influence the move by neighboring states in favor of marijuana legalization would have on New York and the likely obstacles New York would experience in the event Marijuana was legalized.
New York State laws on Marijuana
In New York Marijuana takes the schedule 1 classification, which essentially means that weed is more likely to be abused and has no medical value for the users. New York has actually arrested thousands of people in relation to marijuana use. New York has some of the most stringent laws on Marijuana anywhere in United States.
Marijuana is not allowed for smoking purposes in New York. Certified patients can only purchase pills, oils and creams. Cuomo, in 2014, made an announcement to the effect that marijuana intended for medical purposes would be allowed amidst through controlled use. Only twenty New York hospitals have permits to prescribe Marijuana:
New York Marijuana Laws.
Most of these restrictions are the work of Cuomo. The governor is very conservative with the topic of easing marijuana laws. In fact, even the hospitals allowed to prescribe it can only do so for people suffering glaucoma, cancer and other specified diseases. It is more difficult to get marijuana in New York than it is in other States.
According to the budget director, Robert Mujica, easing of marijuana laws in neighboring states was the primary reason Cuomo initiated the intended research. As at now it is not clear the duration the research will take. One of the Marijuana companies hailed the move as progressive. The chief officer in charge of operations in one of companies said the move by Cuomo was revolutionary and added momentum to the national Marijuana legalization movement.
Whatever the outcome of this study it is clear that other States are expediting the process of easing their Marijuana laws. Cuomo is quite conservative on this topic and his body language suggests he is noncommittal on Legalization of Marijuana. Time will reveal more.