New York recently passed a very limited medical marijuana law. While the law has yet to be implemented, and it needs to be improved upon, it’s still a very significant step in the right direction. At least one New York Senator wants to go even further by legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Per the Wall Street Journal:
New York Senator Liz Krueger will introduce a bill seeking to legalize marijuana for general use in New York state, she said on Sunday, hoping the recent passage of medical marijuana laws will help give the bill momentum.
Ms. Krueger, a Democrat representing Manhattan for more than a decade, said that in the legislative session beginning in January, she will fight for a bill modeled partly on cannabis legalization laws that recently went into effect in Washington and Colorado.
“I will push for taxation and regulation of marijuana,” she said at an unrelated campaign rally for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “I continue to work with experts around the country and to evaluate laws and regulations being put into place now.”
This is very significant because if New York eventually legalizes marijuana, it will have to be via the New York Legislature. New York, unlike other states that have legalized marijuana, does not have a citizen initiative process. Colorado and Washington State legalized marijuana in 2012 because citizens gathered enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot. That’s also how Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. were able to get marijuana legalization on the ballot for the 2014 election. Senator Krueger is facing an uphill battle, but it’s a battle worth pursuing. Will New York be the first state to legalize marijuana via the Legislature? Only time will tell.