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Effort To Legalize Marijuana In New York Dead In The Water

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Composite photo by Dave Lucas
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A push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York state has fallen flat.

The sponsor of the main legalization bill in the state Senate says the bill will not pass before lawmakers adjourn for the year this week.

Manhattan Democrat Liz Krueger says supporters came close to "crossing the finish line" but ran out of time.

Sticking points included how pot tax revenue should be spent, whether past pot convictions should be expunged and whether local communities could opt out of hosting dispensaries, or instead would have to opt in.

With lawmakers set to adjourn this week, some supporters hope there's time to pass a more modest bill to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of marijuana and create a process for people to clear their records of past pot convictions.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.