Gov. Cuomo makes 3 amendments to plan to legalize recreational marijuana
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's latest amendments to his plan to legalize recreational marijuana are drawing mixed reactions.
Those who want to legalize it say the changes don't go far enough, and those who oppose it say the governor is moving too quickly.
The governor made three amendments to his plan to legalize recreational marijuana Tuesday.
The changes included clarifying how the $100 million Social Equity Fund can be used, allowing marijuana delivery services, and refining criminal charges for illegal sales.
In 2023, the state will begin distributing money from a Social Equity Fund to communities the war on drugs has harmed the most -- mainly communities of color.
Some advocates say the state needs to do more and pass the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which they say better addresses prior criminalization and directs more money from sales into impacted communities.
"The amendments from the governor amount to some tinkering around the edges, some window dressing, but it doesn't address, you know, some of the core concerns that we share along with the bill sponsors and other members of the Legislature," says Melissa Moore, NYS director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
The group Smart Approaches to Marijuana opposes legalizing the drug for recreational use and believes the governor is rushing.
They want more research on the impact of legalizing before moving forward.
The state had previously decriminalized possessing small amounts of marijuana back in 2019.