Jan 182015
 January 18, 2015

marijuana reform bill legislature session legislative billsLegalizing recreational marijuana in New York would be very significant on many levels. Obviously, with New York’s enormous population, huge sums of money would be generated for the State. Depending on the rules and regulations, New York could become the most lucrative state in America for the growing marijuana industry. I think there would be ancillary benefits to the industry as well, especially in the area of marketing. National companies like fast food chains, snack foods, and others have been weary of advertising directly to marijuana consumers. From discussions I’ve had with some heavy hitters in the marijuana industry, those national brands are waiting until New York legalizes marijuana.

A bill was filed this week by New York State Senator Liz Krueger that would legalize marijuana. Per the bill summary:

Enacts the “marihuana regulation and taxation act”; relates to the description of marihuana, and the growing of and use of marihuana by persons eighteen years of age or older; makes technical changes regarding the definition of marihuana; relates to the qualification of certain offenses involving marihuana and exempts certain persons from prosecution for the use, consumption, display, production or distribution of marihuana; provides for the licensure of persons authorized to produce, process and sell marihuana; levies an excise tax on certain sales of marihuana; repeals certain provisions of the penal law relating to the criminal sale of marihuana and provisions of the general business law relating to drug paraphernalia; makes an appropriation therefor.

S01747 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. What the chances are of it passing is up in the air right now. If you live in New York, contact your Senators and let them know that marijuana prohibition has failed, and that it’s time to take a new approach to marijuana policy. A legal marijuana industry in New York would help generate much needed tax revenue, jobs, and would free up police resources so that they could be directed towards fighting real crime. Legalize it!

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  • guest

    There’s a lot of conservatives in NY, especially outside NYC. Plus we’ve got Cuomo still. I don’t think this has a chance. My hope is on DC, Rhode Island, and the Indian reservations.

    • scootch

      Isn’t it already legal on all Indian reservations federally already?

      • http://supak.com Scott Supak

        Only on reservations in states where it’s legal, I think.

        • Jordan Shorette

          even states that’s its illegal it can be reservations are sovereign nations tech not US or even state land if they vote to legalize in their own government and they follow the guidelines set up by the feds provided for the states that are legalizing they can do it. think of them like mini countries throughout the US.

          • guest

            This is kind of amazing. I haven’t heard much talk about it, but it would seem to me that having the Native Americans making all the money off of legal weed would inspire our “representatives” to want to get in on the action real quick.

        • bustaken

          doesn’t matter if it’s legal in the state or not. native tribes can do whatever they want.

          • http://supak.com Scott Supak

            I looked into it, and yes, the Obama administration has indeed made it legal even in states where weed is illegal.

            http://www.vox.com/2014/12/11/7376929/marijuana-legalization-american-indians

            > >

            The Obama administration will direct attorneys to not prevent Native American tribes on reservations from growing and selling marijuana even in states where pot is illegal, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.
            Some federal restrictions will still apply. Marijuana can’t be sold to minors, grown on public land, fall into the hands of drug cartels, or systemically spread to states where the drug remains illegal.
            It’s unclear how many tribes will take advantage of the opportunity. Many are opposed tomarijuana legalization. The federal government will continue enforcing prohibition for those tribes, at their request, even in states where pot is legal.

    • http://supak.com Scott Supak

      Liz Krueger has introduced this bill before. It didn’t get anywhere. And who knows what Cuomo would do. I’d bet on a veto if it ever made it to his “GOP Lite” desk.

      It’s the State Senate that’s the biggest problem, and Cuomo has been doing his best to help keep the GOP in control, which they still are. So, unless we see substantial Republican defections on this issue…

      The chairman of the finance committee was John DeFrancisco, a right winger from over Syracuse way, who is, to put it mildly, a hippie puncher. He even voted against the medicinal law. No way he even lets this out of committee.

      • Jordan Shorette

        yea she has but we didn’t have a med marijuana bill passed then and hardly any headway on the legalization front throughout the country. Cuomo will veto it im sure but then it gets sent back to our congress who can choose to overrule the veto. hopefully the senators have been listening to what ny citizens want and push this through.

        • http://supak.com Scott Supak

          The Finance committee is chaired by a Republican who voted against medicinal. This will probably not make it out of committee, if it does, it probably won’t pass the full Senate, and if it did, Cuomo would probably veto it. And they’re nowhere near the votes it would take to override the video. I wouldn’t bet a dime to get a dollar on it.

          • Jordan Shorette

            im sure your right but it would never get anywhere unless the ppl show their support for it doing nothing and saying nothing does nothing.

          • http://supak.com Scott Supak

            The time to show support is when you go vote for someone who will vote for legalizing weed. All the liberals who stayed home, and all the conservatives who vote for these anti-weed Republicans, are the problem.

            But sure, write your state Senator or Assembly person. My state Senator (a Republicans) wouldn’t vote for legalized weed if you held a gun to his head, no matter what his constituents told him.

  • OrCoastTheo

    Please stop selling legalization as a cash cow for states and municipalities. It should not always be the first thing mentioned. Doing so paves the way for excessive tax rates. MJ should not be promoted as something that deserves a sin tax. Not persecuting, prosecuting and jailing people for mj will save government huge sums of money. That should be reason enough.

    • Jordan Shorette

      lets get it legalized first most senators only see dollars signs and if that’s how they can win them over then lets do it. once its legalized and regulated we can start fighting the black market with lower tax rates which they will have to do eventually anyway.

      • OrCoastTheo

        That would work except for the fact that governments never give up or reduce a revenue source once they’ve become addicted to it, e.g. county timber payments here in Oregon. It’s just like meth to them.

        • Jordan Shorette

          good point it always comes back to their wallets i guess lol but ik ny would never legalize without a cash incentive like tax dollars if it were a referendum state we might have a chance but we are not so we have to compromise with the rich and elite who unfortunately run this state.

    • FreeNY

      Knowing your audience is crucial element to creating a successful argument. In the end Politicians ,regardless of party, are only interested in money. They are not compelled by public opinion. They are not concerned with studies or research and they will not be moved values or morals. The title of ‘public servant’ is a misnomer. That is why the tax argument is popular.

    • downthelaw

      I am all for legalization 100%. But I am more for the end for the prohibition on marijuana. It is the worst and most unsafe thing about marijuana. As a matter of FACT, marijuana laws are the ONLY way weed can ruin your life.

    • Linel

      You just contradicted yourself. You know that right?

      • OrCoastTheo

        Linel – No I didn’t realize that. Please explain.

  • bustaken

    unfortunately, this has zero chance of passing this year

    • Ron

      And even less for the governor to sign it into law.

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    High taxes = support for the Black Market. As long as there is a significant black market regulation is hopeless

    • shmuelman

      I suppose if the only thing you are concerned about is price, you may have some kind of point.
      You need to collect taxes to keep an organized market that offers consumers the protection of product strength and purity.
      Also, you need to regulate growers so that they are environmentally responsible. There is severe environmental devastation from illegal growers. See http://www.thenation.com/article/176955/pot-growing-bad-environment or just Google “cannabis growers environment.”
      Taxed cannabis (retail) in Colorado is 1/2 or lower than the black market price in New York. Medical is closer to 1/4 the price. The real issue is whether the legal cannabis market can keep prices high enough to support a retail industry. Like $120 oz ( today’s medical price) to $80 to $50 / oz in two years.
      Because you can grow and trim a cannabis for $15 outdoors (meaning $4 – $5 / oz). Once the Feds get off everyones’ backs, there are gonna be price wars. The black market will be wiped out by the commercial growers who produce by the ton. It is already getting tight for them in Colorado, which is why they are blowing up their houses trying to make shatter hash so they can get some better margins.

      • RageMojo

        What he is saying is the black market sales will not disappear if the legal sale point is higher. But we have a model in Colorado and it does eventually work out.

        • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

          Yes.

        • shmuelman

          The high price of cannabis is due to its illegal nature. Period. It’s a weed that grows outdoors about anywhere in the US. A commercial greenhouse can turn the crop three or four times a year and produce 10,000 lbs. Heavily automated production will bring the production price down to $20 / lb. – $50/lb to the retailer ($3 / oz). How are they gonna keep the price of a gram above $5? Or justify an oz at $50? Without the state drastically curtailing legal production, the prices are gonna get very, very low. The sales tax model based on cost in Colorado will not bring in enough money, they will have to tax it by weight.

          • RageMojo

            You are thinking logically, but sometimes things are counter intuitive and this is one of those times. It has been legal in Co and Wa for over a year and the black markets have not been eliminated. Just because something is legal does not mean it will be automatically cheaper. IN legal markets it isnt just the grower and the taxes, there are many middle men that take a cut. And just like any store like Target or Walmart a pot shop has to price it above what it paid to make a profit. These middle men have kept prices above or comparable to legal costs. So if you have to go to a store and show ID and pay more than just calling the same guy you been dealing with since high school, who will come to your house, not check ID and maybe even bring a pizza on the way, most people will pic the latter. We will get there but we are not there yet.

            http://www.businessinsider.com/legal-marijuana-in-washington-and-colorado-hasnt-gotten-rid-of-the-black-market-2015-1

            http://reason.com/archives/2014/10/30/the-lingering-black-market

          • shmuelman

            I agree with your current assessment, but we are still in the greed / “making hay while the sun shines” phase for the retailers. The black market is now more of a “gray market” in Colorado. Cannabis is being grown and diverted. I am willing to bet that Colorado black market prices are the lowest in the country. Don’t forget that there is major regulation on all pot at the end of a gun. $5 billion / year at the DEA alone. That’s why black market prices are so high.

      • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

        The more you regulate the higher the price. The black market has no regulation. That is the competition.

        Alcohol prohibition was run on a “prohibit the suppliers” model. The violence continued until the price was so low the black market couldn’t compete.

        And then there is hemp. If that gets regulated the way recreational is done (to prevent intermixing) it will never be profitable.

        No more taxed and regulated than it was in 1936.

    • Angalee Jones

      Long as people cannot grow their own if they wish & prices are high or GMO…there will be a black market…

  • Fairuse

    18 and over won’t pass. Fence sitters won’t get behind legalizing an intoxicant for anyone under 21.

    • stellarvoyager

      It’s decrim for 18-21 (like an MIP) and legal for 21+.

      • Fairuse

        Not clear from the summary. After reading the text of the bill, i could not find decrim for 18 but did find one ref to 21 pertaining to growing and misdemeanors. Prob buried in the reams of legalese.

  • tony

    I smoked 1 joint over 2 months ago I’m not a regular smoker I took a drug test Friday do you think I passed

    • anonymous

      yes

    • Abe Lee

      Absolutely. 30 days is the high end of THC persistence, for regular smokers.

    • GETREAL

      depends on what test you took, hair follicle tests can detect drugs as far back as 6 months.

      • igethigherryday

        um 7 years bro.

        • GETREAL

          Hair taken from your head can show cannabis use up to 6 months. Arms and legs are longer. I am sure their is other hair on your body that will show a longer history but they would have to ask you to drop your drawers.

          • Road Scholar

            Then it’s up the poopshoot with the cannabis detection wand!

    • Mandy Gagliardi

      It also depends on your water consumption, your body fat content, and how much and often you smoke.

    • screwed

      duuuude your screwed …

    • michiganman

      Oh yeah you passed easily. More than enough time.

    • Mark Green

      Don’t listen to anyone who says you won’t pass. I smoke almost a joint once a week and I pass a monthly test. Now, it does differ with everyone but I’m 285, I don’t work out and actually, in the last year I’ve been pretty lazy (actually, I’ve been suffering from depression-not really lazy, just not motivated due to depression)…and I still pass my tests. That don’t mean to go ahead and start smoking more but, I’m telling you not to worry..

  • downthelaw

    And as the Bible said. “This too shall pass”

    • cookie

      yeah as much as i want this to pass… i just dont see it happening.

    • pickaname

      Too*

      • downthelaw

        great name dude

    • Brian Sweeney

      From wikipedia:
      This too shall pass
      “The phrase seems to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets, and is often attached to a fable of a great king who is humbled by the simple words.”

  • Artstrada Magazine

    is marijuana spelled marihuana on purpose on the bill? stoners!

    • Thatguy

      when the original law outlawing cannabis was passed the official name was the “Marihuana Tax Act” that was the spelling used most often on Federal documents at the time so to maintain consistency its still used for legal reasons.

  • Arthur Borko

    Yes! I can’t wait for this! Finally.

    • Frant2

      But it’s going to take FOREVER…..I don’t know if I’ll live long enough…..I’ve been waiting for this for 40 years……close but no cigar…..

  • Aces

    I don’t think NY will be the first east coast state to legalize but they will come around once other states legalize. Come on Vermont and Maine!

  • Margaret

    Legalization in a state the size of NY could have an impact on drug policy in Latin America. When CA had a similar bill, the presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, etc., were like, “then why should we keep putting our farmers in jail?” But legalization in Latin America could have consequences for cartel violence, environment, forest habitats, animal species: http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-health/high-crimes-implications-of-loosening-marijuana-restrictions-for-you-and-your-bird.aspx

  • GETREAL

    Employers are still the obstacle in legalization. With random drug tests looking for byproducts of consuming cannabis, will make it tough to hold down a job. Personally I feel it is unconstitutional under the 4th amendment.

    • namename

      The 4th amendment applies to the government not private businesses,

      • Fr33dom

        Nonsense. Practically, it applies to both or neither. The DEA needs no warrant to demand and receive the results of your employer’s drug tests. Your employer has little reason to obstruct the DEA and has no 4th amendment grounds to do so, effectively eviscerating the employee’s 4th amendment rights.

      • GETREAL

        Businesses should be able to interject into employees non work time? BS a drug free workplace does not mean a drug free society.

    • AmKon Dot Net

      I’ve never been drug tested for a job in New York state or Connecticut.

      • Aces

        Neither have I, but it really depends on what line of work you do.

        • boots285

          I am in the medical field and they drug test. As said above, it depends on the line of work you’re in.

  • AmKon Dot Net

    You don’t just have to contact your representatives you can contact any sitting member, their emails are listed on their homepage. Sometimes they ask you to enter a zip in which case they may not respond but if there is an email listed you will have no problems.

  • TAMMY ELLIS

    Weed is nothing to the ANGRY people out there attacking someone, like for example, people at Meijers!

  • adam

    You could keep a job it would just like alcohol

  • adam

    Or they lose business for not having employees or you choose what’s more important a job or weed?

  • misdirection

    OMG. I just had an heart attack: I thought the title said, “bill failed to legalize recreational marijuana in New York”. Filed vs failed. Damn, I am dyslexic.

    • rkellington

      Maybe just stoned lmao.

  • Marc Green

    Yea you know, where does all the taxed lotto winnings go? All the money in fines and so on? Because to me it seems that even if we legalize weed, which I’m all for-NY will still be the highest state to tax the people and will still complain about low funding. Someone is doing something wrong and before we give those someones more money to steal, I’d like to make sure everything is kosher..then again, go ahead and legalize the use and sale of marijuana and find the thieves-just make sure the investigators aren’t high or else nothing will get done-timely anyway..

  • Mac

    The herb is good, 6th day creation The Sixth Day: Creatures on Land http://www.equalrights4all.org/religious/bible.htm For the wicked people who are manipulating the system with ill gotten gain, WOE.

  • oldnorth

    So long as I am in my own house, it is no one’s goddamned business what substances I wish to put in my body. Be it nicotine caffeine THC or even heroin, That is all there is to it. Plain and simple.

    • Frant2

      I am an advocate for use of marijuana….however…..substances you put in your body affects health costs for everyone. It is proven that cigarettes cause cancer…..so when you get cancer (and most smokers I know – eventually get cancer – and many have died from lung cancer). Smoking cigarettes is probably the worst thing a person can purposely do to die young. I do believe that people who smoke crack, use heroin, etc…..should be treated as an illness……Grass, however, is totally different. It has many beneficial uses and I believe it should be totally legal to grow and use.

  • Dorothy Finch

    Legalize it already it’s been proven to help more then anything it would be stupid not to legalize it recreational.

    • ronnie

      That’s the same thing I’m saying if it could help cancer , glaucoma and others

      • Ronnie

        It’s a relaxing drug it keeps you focus I go to school high and still pass all my grades. I smoke 2 joints before I go to school everyday

  • ryan

    cannabis is the devils fruit do not legalize for god…

    • 420

      bs god made it

    • Judy

      Such BS! Do your research! We chronically ill people need it NOW!

    • Gluttony

      Are you seriously going to use God as an argument here? Regardless of all the medicinal benefits and the money that could be generated from it, no we can’t because of people like you who make baseless arguments like “I’m ill informed about marijuana; I’m just gonna use religion as an excuse to fuel my bullshit.” Anything I don’t like I can say “God doesn’t like this either. Gay marriage? God hates gays.” Please give me a passage from the bible that says ANYTHING about marijuana being bad. I wonder why people like you are even given a voice if you’re going to simply flaunt around your ignorance and stupidity.

    • DKKRAV

      Ryan you have no idea what your talking about, if there is anything that is the devils fruit it is alcohol, get your facts straight.

    • Brett Keough

      You know what should be illegal church because of people like you who “praise jebus” and condemn others for their beliefs and lifestyles shit you Christians are no better than the cave dwelling extremist half way around the world

  • im still jonesing

    I truly hope this law passes.but even if it does, my place of employment( Goodyear) has already announced that it will not tolerate the use of marijuana. As an HR manager, ive been instructed to write a random monthly drug testing policy for all employees in the event of the passing of this bill. They are committed to test every employee every month. If Goodyear is willing to do this, other company’s will to. So even if this law does pass, employers still have the right to deny the use of any drug.

    • Judy

      That’s horrible!

      • h

        That’s why cops in the legal states still cant mess with it.

    • jae

      im sure there are going to be laws focused on/written to protect people in those aspects as well….a company will most likely have the right to not allow an employee to smoke/use marijuana while ON THE JOB (much like alcohol) but if/when recreational use becomes legal in general, a place of employment will have no right governing what an employee chooses to legally use OFF HOURS.
      – im sure companies will try to do the above anyway but will most likely be opening themselves up to lawsuits when they do and eventually (if its not done right from the start) laws will be made to protect the user..
      – its like saying that if an heroin addict is in treatment and using suboxone or methadone legally to help treat themselves that a company is going to test you for it and fire you anyway because “they wont tolerate it”.
      OR
      places want to avoid additional medical costs so those who are caught with anti-depressants in their system wont be tolerated because a “depressed person” could be seen as a potential threat to them in some form or fashion.

      outside certain rare situations/certain types of jobs a job/employer has no right or place to “not tolerate” what you choose to legally do on your own time..

  • Stanley brewer

    Save our state legalize a tax it make legal to grow your own cutting the sales Down

  • http://blowingsmoke.nyc BlowingSmokeNYC

    There will be five companies chosen by early July and I hope the decision is fair and impartial and that politicians put the needs of the people ahead of their own desires.

  • Ron Schutt

    Fair? Ha-ha what a joke I guess it’s fair if your already a millionaire and can afford to pay nys 500k per permit and then 60% of your profits. Why should we let the rich get richer. These NY marijuana laws need to be changed from the way the drug has to be implemented, all the way to who can use it for medical purposes and then finally to who can sell it.

  • Lima Zida

    Actually the reason why weed is illegal is due to Racism, Yellow Journalism, etc. So yeah…it’s actually a lot safer than Cigarettes. make cigarettes illegal and make pot legal. Wasting so much money on making pot illegal and because of it being illegal drug dealers end up spiking their stash in order to make a profit off it. We could grow actual safe weed and sell it like cigarettes.