Governor Cuomo Does 180 on Cannabis Legalization
In an unprecedented 180-degree move, Governor Cuomo announced the conclusion of a report that he commissioned on cannabis legalization. According to Forbes, the report “says the “positive effects” of legalization “outweigh the potential negative impacts.” So, there you go New York. You better thank Cynthia Nixon for pushing Cuomo this way. Or better yet, vote for her, and get him out!
Also in New York, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, which sponsored a cannabis legalization bill every year since 2013, has asked Cuomo’s administration to incorporate the components from her bill into the new one.
Finally, a new bill has been sent to Gov. Cuomo to allow the use of cannabis in cases where patients are prone to abuse harder drugs, such as opioids. There have been many scientific studies done showing that cannabis weens patients off of opiates. Considering that we have an opioid epidemic in this country, more legislation like this should pass.
WeedUpdate (Weed Update) from Around the Country
Arrests in the Golden State have decreased by a whopping 56 percent in 2017, which was the first year recreational marijuana was legalized. Furthermore, felony cannabis arrests were down by 76 percent compared to 2016. It looks like legalization is working as planned.
Despite these high statistics, the Riverside council voted to prohibit cannabis businesses from operating within the city. Too bad. We know through history that prohibition does not work. So even though Riverside County’s voters voted for Proposition 64, the council is not representing their wishes.
Governor Murphy still thinks legal weed could pass this year. Everything is ready; lawmakers are just making sure the bill is perfect. Furthermore, all the dispensaries currently licensed for medical marijuana would be able to sell recreational marijuana the day after legalization. Since Murphy has taken office, medical marijuana patients increased from 10,000 to 25,000 patients. New Jersey also has a comprehensive plan that covers everything.
Last month, the voters of Oklahoma approved an initiative to legalize medical marijuana. However, Governor Mary Fallin approved new rules regulating cannabis in the state, and they are not good. No strong marijuana and no smoking it. Activists are threatening a lawsuit and they should.
Oregon regulators are under some heat for not properly managing the state’s cannabis industry. Oregon was one of the first states to legalized medical marijuana and legalized it recreationally in 2014. The report stated that it would be easy for much of the cannabis to be sent out of state without authorities knowing about it. The report also cited poor reporting by licensees and not many audits by the regulator.
As if he is taking cues from New Jersey Governor Murphy, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto joins Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in asking politicians in Pennsylvania to legalize marijuana recreationally. Peduto cited social justice issues, but also mentioned the potential revenue generated from a legal and regulated cannabis industry. Pennsylvania is a critical state in our nation and could set a precedent and encourage the federal government to finally legalize the plant.
Governor Gina Raimondo signed a bill that would allow individuals with prior marijuana convictions to have those records expunged. Lawmakers decriminalized the plant in 2013, so it makes sense that individuals shouldn’t keep paying the price for prior actions.
La Crosse County, Wisconsin, is considering legalizing cannabis for adults 21 and older. Both the La Crosse County Judiciary and Law committee voted to go through the process of putting the referendum on the ballot this fall.
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