New York Marijuana | WAMC

New York Marijuana

Kyle Belokopitsky, executive director of the New York State PTA, speaking March 29, 2021.
Karen DeWitt

Opponents of legalizing marijuana in New York are making a last-minute pitch to derail an agreement reached between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature to allow the sale of the drug to adults for recreational purposes.  

A medical marijuana dispensary in Plattsburgh, NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York is set to legalize marijuana for adult, recreational use after Democrats struck a deal on the issue Saturday, with a vote expected next week from the state Legislature.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a briefing July 1, 2020.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for the third time in as many years, threw his support behind legalizing marijuana for adult, recreational use in New York Wednesday, saying the state’s massive budget deficit should be an impetus to reach a deal on the issue with the Legislature this year.

Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, speaking at the Capital rally Tuesday.
Karen DeWitt

Backers of legalizing the adult use of recreational marijuana in New York rallied at the Capitol on Tuesday, but some key differences among lawmakers might hold up passage.

NYS Senator James Skoufis
Courtes of the Office of NYS Senator James Skoufis

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $178 billion spending plan seeks to close a $6.1 billion hole widened mainly by Medicaid costs. Now, lawmakers in Albany are weighing in, with budget hearings scheduled this week.  WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with state Senator James Skoufis about the governor’s proposal to remedy the shortfall, and more.

Public Domain

A New York law that decriminalizes possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is now in effect. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s “long overdue.” But some advocates say the law does not go far enough.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation that further decriminalizes marijuana possession in New York. The law ends criminal prosecution for possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis. The action comes on a day when the governor also signed new gun control measures into law.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation further decriminalizing marijuana possession in New York. The Democrat says New York's existing marijuana laws disproportionately affect African American and Latino communities.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Advocates of legalizing adult recreational marijuana say they plan to spend the next six months convincing state lawmakers that allowing the drug to be sold and used in New York, after a measure failed in the final days of the session. 

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

Ever since the New York legislature adopted the new state budget without including a marijuana legalization provision, the prospects for legal pot in the Empire State have been uncertain.  There is word that legalization legislation is still being discussed in conference, but with the session ending in little more than a month, it’s unclear if lawmakers will act this year. On Thursday, 115th District Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was in Plattsburgh. The Democrat tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley while there’s talk about marijuana, the rank-and-file haven’t really delved into the issue since the budget deliberations.

Silver Therapeutics in Williamstown, MA
Josh Landes, WAMC

It remains to be seen if the New York state legislature will take action this year on the legalization of recreational marijuana after failing to include the measure in the state budget, which was supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo. A new analysis looks at the economic impacts of allowing adult use marijuana.

Karen DeWitt

Supporters of including legalized recreational marijuana for adults rallied Wednesday at the New York state Capitol to try to convince lawmakers to move faster on the issue. Backers are hoping legalization will be included in this year’s state budget. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

With three weeks to go until the April 1 budget deadline, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is drawing some lines in the sand on items he says need to be in the spending plan, like a permanent property tax cap. But the Democrat says a proposal to legalize the adult use of marijuana likely will not be finished in time.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr.
Courtesy of the Westchester County District Attorney's office

Westchester County has a new marijuana prosecution policy. The possession of two ounces or less of marijuana will no longer result in a criminal conviction. This comes as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to legalize recreational marijuana. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino about the new policy that went into effect this week.

wikimedia commons

Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to release details of a plan to make recreational marijuana legal in New York when he outlines his state budget proposal later this month. But the Democrat concedes that there are many unanswered questions about how to proceed.

Senator Betty Little (left) and Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (right) visit Plattsburgh with state Housing Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas (center)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In January, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the New York state Health Department to study the impact of legalization of marijuana. Issued in July, the report concluded: “The positive effects of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts.” During a visit to Plattsburgh this week the region’s state Senate and Assembly representatives weighed in about the potential for pot legalization.