New York lawmakers are currently debating the legalization of recreational cannabis. Here’s what it could mean for the state.
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In New York, lawmakers are considering a bill that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis. The bill has been proposed by State Senator Liz Krueger and is currently being reviewed by the State Assembly.
If the bill is passed, New York would become the tenth state in the United States to legalize recreational cannabis. The other states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In addition, the District of Columbia has also legalized recreational cannabis.
The bill would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to two ounces of cannabis and grow up to six cannabis plants at home. It would also establish a system of regulated cannabis businesses, including growers, processors, distributors, and retailers. Cannabis products would be subject to state taxes and regulations.
The passage of this bill would have a significant impact on New York State. It would create jobs and generate revenue for the state through taxes and fees. It would also provide relief for people who suffer from chronic pain or other medical conditions that can be treated with cannabis.
Proponents of the bill argue that legalization is inevitable and that it is better to regulate and tax cannabis than to allow it to be sold illegally. They argue that regulation will make cannabis safer for consumers and that tax revenue can be used to fund public education about the risks of drug use.
Opponents of the bill argue that legalization will lead to increased drug use among young people. They argue that legal marijuana businesses will disproportionately impact minority communities and that regulation will be difficult to implement effectively
The Pros of Legalization
Cannabis has been shown to provide a significant boost to state and local economies through tax revenue and job creation. A report from the American Legislative Exchange Council found that states that have legalized cannabis saw a 16.4% increase in employment in the first year after legalization, compared to just 4.4% for the rest of the United States. This doesn’t just mean more jobs for “stoner” culture; in fact, legal cannabis sales are projected to create more than 283,000 new full-time jobs by 2020.
Tax revenue is another major benefit of legalized cannabis. In Colorado, cannabis sales generated $247 million in tax revenue in 2017, while Oregon collected $60 million and Washington raked in $319 million. These figures are only expected to grow as the industry expands. New York could stand to gain billions of dollars in tax revenue if cannabis is legalized; a recent report found that legalizing cannabis could generate as much as $3.5 billion in tax revenue for the state each year.
The possibility of legalization has already had a positive impact on the state’s economy. For example, the real estate market has seen a boost as investors are eager to buy property in anticipation of cannabis businesses needing storefronts. In addition, organizations that support legalization are working hard to ensure that small businesses and entrepreneurs have a level playing field in the industry. They are also advocating for policies that will help ensure that the industry creates quality jobs with good wages and benefits.
There is also potential for revenue generation through taxation. A report by the New York State Comptroller found that if cannabis were taxed at a rate similar to alcohol, it could generate $436 million in annual revenue for the state. This revenue could be used to fund education, healthcare, and other critical needs. It could also help offset the costs of implementing and enforcing legalization.
Legalization would also create opportunities for farmers in New York State. Cannabis can be grown indoors or outdoors, and it is relatively easy to cultivate. New York’s climate is well-suited for outdoor cultivation, and there is already a thriving agricultural industry in the state. Farmers who are interested in growing cannabis would need to obtain a license from the state, but there is potential for this to be a lucrative venture.
Decreased crime rates
One of the most touted potential benefits of legalizing cannabis is that it could lead to a decrease in crime rates. This is because currently, the illegal status of cannabis means that there is a thriving black market for the drug, which can lead to violence and other criminal activity. If cannabis were to be legalized, this black market would be eliminated, and along with it, much of the associated crime. In addition, legalizing cannabis could also lead to increased tax revenue for cash-strapped governments, which could be used to fund law enforcement and other vital public services.
The Cons of Legalization
While the prospect of legalizing recreational cannabis in New York has many people excited, there are also a number of potential downsides to consider. One of the main concerns is that legal cannabis will lead to an increase in drug-impaired driving accidents. Another concern is that legal cannabis will make it easier for minors to access the drug. Let’s take a closer look at these and other potential negative effects of legalizing cannabis in New York.
Increased drug use
While there are many potential benefits to legalizing cannabis, there are also some potential drawbacks. One of the most significant potential negatives is increased drug use.
Some proponents of legalization argue that making cannabis legal will take away the “forbidden fruit” appeal and make it less attractive to young people. However, there is evidence that this is not the case. In states where cannabis is already legal, rates of teenage cannabis use are actually higher than the national average.
It’s also worth considering that legalizing cannabis will make it more accessible and convenient to obtain. This could lead to more people using it, even if they wouldn’t have used it if it were illegal.
Increased drug use comes with a number of risks, including addiction, impaired driving, and other negative health effects. It’s important to weigh these risks against the potential benefits of legalization before making a decision.
Increased traffic accidents
While there are many potential benefits to the legalization of cannabis, there are also some potential drawbacks. One of the most significant concerns is the impact that legal cannabis will have on traffic safety.
There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that cannabis use can impair driving ability. A 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that drivers who had used cannabis were more than twice as likely to be involved in a vehicle crash than those who had not used cannabis.
This is not surprising, as Cannabis use can cause impaired judgment, slowed reaction time, and drowsiness. These effects can make it difficult for drivers to safely navigate roadways.
In states where cannabis has been legalized, there has been a significant increase in the number of traffic accidents and fatalities. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that traffic fatalities in Colorado increased by 16% after the state legalized cannabis.
The increases in traffic accidents and fatalities are a serious concern, and they are likely to be an issue in New York if cannabis is legalized. It will be important for lawmakers to consider these impacts when crafting legislation to legalize cannabis.
Negative health effects
In general, the risks posed by marijuana use are lower than those posed by alcohol and tobacco use, which are legal for adults in New York State. However, that does not mean that there are no risks associated with marijuana use, especially for young people.
Marijuana use can lead to:
– Short-term memory loss
– Difficulty concentrating
– Impaired ability to perform complex tasks
– Anxiety and paranoia
– Increased heart rate
– Increased risk of psychotic symptoms in people with a family history of mental illness
Marijuana use is also associated with an increased risk of car accidents and injuries.
Now that New York has legalized cannabis, what does that mean for the state?
For one thing, it means that people will no longer be criminalized for possessing or using cannabis. It also opens up opportunities for those who want to enter the legal cannabis industry, whether as growers, retailers, or service providers.
Of course, it will take some time for the legal cannabis industry to get up and running in New York. In the meantime, there are still some things that are illegal, such as driving while under the influence of cannabis. So make sure you know the law before you light up.