New York State Legislators Announce Marijuana Legalization Bill

appleAt a press conference this morning, New York Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) and state Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) announced their intent to introduce legislation to legalize the possession, cultivation, and retail sale of cannabis.

Speaking at the press conference, the Assembly bill’s sponsor Rep. Gottfried said, “We really need to move beyond our totally broken prohibition model to a sensible tax and regulate model. I think it’s widely recognized that marijuana is at most nowhere near as potentially harmful as alcohol and our law is dishonest.”

Added Sen. Krueger, “I don’t believe a drug that is proven to be less dangerous, from a health perspective, than alcohol or tobacco should be under laws that actually criminalize and ruin lives when alcohol or tobacco are regulated and taxed.”

The proposed Assembly and Senate measures would allow adults over the age of 18 to possess up to 2 ounces of dried marijuana, 1/4 ounce of marijuana concentrates, and to cultivate up to 6 plants. The legislation would also establish regulations for state-licensed retail cannabis outlets throughout the state. Retail sales would be limited to adults over the age of 21.

New York City Comptroller John Liu estimates that taxing the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults would yield an estimated $400 million annually, just in the city alone.

According to a 2013 ACLU report, no state arrests more of its citizens for marijuana possession than New York.

NEW YORK RESIDENTS: Click here to easily contact your elected officials and urge them to support this legislation.

102 thoughts

  1. As much as I hope…its a dead issue. The senate has a republican majority and the governors also said a while ago he would veto anything.

  2. @Galileo, I’m very sorry to hear about your younger brother. Big Tobacco has been at the root of American corporate oppression since the Virginia Company first settled in Jamestown. I did some research on Big Tobacco and couldn’t believe how evil they really were. They supply addictive products that are killing us all (they even own starbucks– caffeine kills 10,000 Americans per year and capri-sun– get’m hooked and diabetic while their young). Meanwhile marijuana remains illegal. (Check out my boycott list below).
    What’s worse, Phillip Morris went along with Koch Industries to fund the government shutdown. All the big evil game players behind the shutdown are the structural corporate components that create the wall we know as prohibition. And all the money, the 2014 elections debate and the smoke and mirrors surrounding healthcare is spinning around the languishing Farm Bill.
    The big pending federal cannabis legislation is still being fought in the Farm Bill, hidden in the hemp research amendment. Boehner past a budget to distance himself from a hemoraging Tea Party. Thanks to voting pressure and groups like NORML, the curtain has lifted from the evil corporations funding prohibition.
    Thanks to good reporting at the NYTimes, The Texas Obsever, The Portland Press Herald and the Guardian the cat is out of the bag that Koch industries along with ALEC and the above mentioned Americans for Prosperity were behind the shutdown, which occured the same day the old Farm Bill expired. Voting Americans are learning that much, but when you read the evil list of players, we quickly see the major donors behind prohibition.
    Check this link out:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/05/state-conservative-groups-assault-education-health-tax?
    Hidden behind “think tanks,” The Searle Trust and the State Policy Network, the following corporations have launched a full out attack on the public sector. Aside from prohibition, that includes attacks on public health, education and their remaining share of income tax; They want us dumb, unhealthy and too poor to fight back:
    “The State Policy Network (SPN) has members in each of the 50 states and an annual warchest of $83m drawn from major corporate donors that include the energy tycoons the KOCH BROTHERS, the tobacco company PHILIP MORRIS, food giant KRAFT and the multinational drugs company GLAXOSMITHKLINE.”
    These are the corporations behind the shutdown.
    Here are links to boycott their products:
    http://www.buycott.com/campaign/…/boycott-kraft-foods-..
    http://www.Kochwatch.org
    http://www.actupny.org/actions/glaxo-Boycott.html?
    http://medicolegal.tripod.com/boycott.htm (Wow, starbucks and capri-sun owned by tobacco?! Well, those capri-suns ARE children’s crack.)
    On another note, Mitch McConnel is voting against any Farm Bill that doesn’t include the Hemp Research Amendment. So @Chris, while we can find enemies bisect on all sides, we can also find allies. The Senate minority leader from Kentucky needs to get reelected in a state where voters are poised to push federal hemp legislation through so they can compete in an industrial hemp market. Hemp grows very well in the state of Kentucky, so the state Agricultural Commissioner and Senator Rand Paul are pushing the hemp research amendment heavily through the Farm Bill. I know, I know, “but these are members of the Tea Party”; the same Tea Party funded by the Searle Trust and the State Policy Network– basically the evil list of corporations mentioned above– who are completely AGAINST marijuana legalization. As a result of our Kentucky Senator’s alignment, the Tea Party has been hemoraging. Now that were finally approaching the 2014 Congressional election year, Republican candidates are quickly revealing their true colors over the Farm Bill. It would appear the constapated “elephant in the room” took a huge laxative, and it’s every Congressman for themselves.(I’m quite sure a toke of weed could help with that).
    While delaying the Farm Bill has been the evil strategy of the State Policy Network so Koch Industries can manipulate ethanol subsidies before hemp is legalized, the delays may have hurt these prohibitionists more than helped. Just look at all the pro-cannabis legislation that has passed since new Farm Bill legislation was first kicked down the road! Legislation like this in New York and the rapidly changing pro-marijuana demographics have created opportunity for the hemp research amendment in the midst of the greedy, delayed battle over Farm subsidies. Think about it; if these greedy Koch bastards would have agreed on a Farm Bill 2 years ago when they had the chance, American voters were still on the fence about cannabis issues. Look how far we’ve made it in two years!
    It’s a classic American Cannabis tragedy, and thanks to their own greed and hubris, the Titans of Prohibition (including the DEA) have been revealed, rounded up and cast with disinfecting light from the heavens. Even the Obama administration with all its broken promises has reversed policy on mandatory minimum sentencing.
    In more detail, here are more prohibitionist products to boycott with more links and names:
    Koch Industries (crude oil, plastics, timber: The average supermarket shopper had no idea that buying Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups means contributing cash to Koch Industries through its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. Similarly, purchasing a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet means indirectly handing the Kochs your money (Koch Industries bought Invista, one of the world’s largest fiber and textiles companies, in 2004 from DuPont– Remember Dupont from our cannabis prohibition history? They helped create the still active Marijuana Stamp Act 75 years ago to defend their patent on nylon from hemp fiber competition).
    Philip Morris: see Altria. (Tobacco, starbucks, Capri Sun, Kraft and Nabisco)
    Altria Group, Inc. is the parent company of Kraft Foods, Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Altria Group owns 100% of the outstanding stock of Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International and Philip Morris Capital Corporation, and approximately 88.1% of the stock of KRAFT Foods. Philip Morris USA is the largest tobacco company in the United States, with approximately half of the U.S. cigarette market.
    Kraft includes Post cereals, Digornio Pizza (frozen pizzas are full of aluminum), Maxwell House, Cool Whip, Jell-o, Kool-Aid, Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Kraft Mac n Cheese and Velveeta to name a few.
    GlaxoSmith Kline: (bayer, Avandia; link to Avandia shows a 3 billion dollar settlement for causing heart attacks with “medicine” for diabetes: http://www.anh-europe.org/news/gsk-have-admitted-they-are-guilty-of-fraud-let%E2%80%99s-boycott-their-products)
    For the record, marijuana is medicine for diabetes. Balance your diet, watch your blood sugar and forget the pills.
    It will take every American to stand up to this tyranny. Never underestimate American consumer power. After all, if we are what we eat, than we are what we inhale as well. (whew… exhale…)

  3. The biggest lie for money has been going on for years in the United States the FDA knows cannibas cures many diseases but drug companies cant patent a natural plant…Go to Run From The Cure and look at what our leaders are keeping from the people! It is a crime if you see the true life movie Dallas Buyers Club the FDA is now doing the same thing to cannabis especially the oil that cures cancer and many other ailments…do your homework and research you will be very mad!

  4. this doesnt make sense you can possess marijuana if youre 18 but cant buy from retail stores unless youre 21? hello stupids if they already possess it they wont have to worry about buying it! if this gets passed then we better see them doing something about this damn smoking in public cause if marijuana can be legalized then smoking in public places can and should be banned.

  5. I bought a shirt that says “God mad grass man made alcohol who do you trust.Im not at all religious but the logic still stands. Im a huge advocate in marijuana for many reasons. Its not half as bad as alcohol.

  6. @Chris: The reason Republicans get the worst of this is because they fight it a lot more. Yes, the Dems aren’t doing enough, but if you look you’ll see the vast majority of bills are being proposed by Democrats, and when a politician comes out as being in favor of legalization you can assume that politician is a Democrat and be right probably 90% of the time. If Romney had won in 2012, the laws in CO and WA would not be respected, and there wouldn’t even be the tepid little “well, okay, we’ll leave you alone and see how it goes” from the fed–they’d have just marched their way right into those states with their jackbooted DEA thugs and closed them down on the spot, and released a proclamation declaring all state initiatives to legalize to be illegal from then on.

    This is possibly because the Democrats are not liberal or progressive but are washed-out versions of Republicans (Republican lite, if you will), while the Republicans are the full-on authoritarian party that has fallen far deeper into Drug War profiteering industry pockets than have the Democrats. As such, the Dems can still be prevailed upon to do the right thing, but the Republican politicians only see the payouts being thrown at them by special interests in the private prison and drug testing industries, to name only two.

    So while I agree that the Dems aren’t doing as much as they should or as much as I would like, they are doing infinitely more to help legalization and, failing that, doing infinitely less to torpedo it. And as they begin to realize that supporting legalization is 1) NOT political suicide and 2) can actually help them win votes, I think we will see better things happen. And as the little they are helping with (bringing in the legislation to legalize) begins to show its success in places like CO and WA, even the Repubs will have to start paying attention. Especially since the only two groups that oppose legalization in numbers over 50% are the Republicans and people over 65, and there is definitely a big overlap there, and as their brainwashed prohibitionist voters die off those numbers are also going to change in ways the Republicans simply won’t be able to ignore.

    Which is another thing to consider: the Democrats have more of a path to supporting legalization, because their demographics tend towards the young and the liberal and the progressive and the anti-authoritarian–all tending to favoring legalization and all the opposite with the Repubs major demographics. The people who tend to vote Dem also tend to be targeted unfairly by the failed War on Drugs, while the people who tend to vote Repub tend to not be so much on the receiving end of Drug War injustice and often can’t see the problem with prohibition. Marijuana is the drug choice of poor people and is the primary target of the Drug War, and is used as a method to ensure people born poor stay poor–and the Republican party is, I’m sorry to say, the party of rich white people who have an interest in promoting that oppression. So the Dems are in more of a position to support legalization without alienating nearly 50% of their voting demographics or destroying their chances of even winning the nominations in the first place.

  7. @Chris: BTW, Bush was a bit too busy with his two BS wars and his precedent-setting* dismantling of the Constitution to bother with marijuana, which didn’t have the numbers behind it or the momentum it has now.

    And you are aware of things like Blue Dog Democrats or Third Way Democrats or whatever other BS obfuscation they are using now. There are unfortunately conservatives in the Democratic party posing as liberals and deliberately voting along Republican lines. These people are not Democrats, as far as I’m concerned, they are agent provocateurs, infiltrators. Imagine if the Repubs had an entire wing that claimed to be Republican while voting almost entirely with the Democrats on every issue. It’s kind of like that. It’s dishonest, and I consider them worse than Republicans who, for all their faults, are at least not pretending to be progressives.

    *Yes, I’m aware Obama’s record on this sucks as well, but it began with Bush, hence the adjective “precedent-setting”. Obama is just continuing what Bush started there, and not nearly as quickly as the Republicans would have if they had won (or managed to steal) the election.

  8. In the UK, if cannabis is a class B drug, and it is an established fact that nearly everyone in the country knows that cannabis is less dangerous than legal alcohol and tobacco, then doesn’t this send the message that all drugs in class B and C are less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, infact it may even cause people to have a softer perception on class A drugs.

  9. While you folks are working so hard for this issue, consider taking a moment for a little fun with STEEL WOOL’s version of the Twelve Days of Yuletide. YOu will especially like #5…

  10. The majority of states which pioneered medical and/or legal marijuana, utilized a referendum and/or initiative process. This allowed residents to propose and/or directly vote on their marijuana laws. NYS lacks any initiative or referendum process. Watching marijuana bills repeatedly not be voted on in the Senate reveals a blatant inefficiency. Polls showed that prior to the 2013 Senate voting period, 82% of NYS residents supported medical marijuana. For the Senate to not even vote on the medical marijuana bill was a failure to represent. Residents will not be represented until power is returned to them through an initiative and referendum processes.

  11. Let’s not forget NYS Assemblyman Steve Katz who is against it for both medical or legalization but that did stop him from using cannabis for himself.
    It’s the old do as I say and not as I do. When will these creeps & bums get tossed out of office.

  12. We need to support pot legalization, we need it not only in NY but in NJ as well. Lets be positive! It already happen in 2 of our states 🙂

  13. Weed, it is the *histrionic* that say, “do as we say, not as we do.” It is the same mentality as an old fashioned witch doctor. They don’t really know why what they do sometimes works and other times doesn’t, they think the spells (the bullshit pouring from their mouths) are an intergral part of the process; when really they just cannot see straight.

  14. “This allowed residents to propose and/or directly vote on their marijuana laws. NYS lacks any initiative or referendum process. Watching marijuana bills repeatedly not be voted on in the Senate reveals a blatant inefficiency. Polls showed that prior to the 2013 Senate voting period, 82% of NYS residents supported medical marijuana. For the Senate to not even vote on the medical marijuana bill was a failure to represent.”

    Yeah, all levels of government are non-representive on the issue of marijuana. Even where legal, there continue to be non-sense issues being constructed and placed in the way. Corruption is an official pastime now.

    They say completely retarded things like, “Well I cannot support a law the says marijuana is for 21 and over because I’m worried about the message it sends children.” The only “message” it sends is marijuana is for 21 and older. Fucking retarded excuses for leadship.

  15. @Rob t: This has always been a problem. My mom knew that there were people who took harder drugs entirely because they tried marijuana, discovered that pretty much everything they’d ever been told about it is a lie, and thought “well, if they were so full of it over marijuana, maybe cocaine or heroine or whatever is also pretty safe and okay to take”.

    And, of course, thanks to Dr. Hart, we do know that some of the harder drugs, while not good and certainly not quite as safe as marijuana, are not quite as terribly addictive as they’ve previously been thought. So they’d probably be partially right.

  16. in a few years most of thease old scumbags willdie off hopefully and quit screwing us poor folk before we have to showw them whare the bear shits

  17. @Julian

    Thanks. I had dropped out back in the counterculture days and didn’t watch television for 5-6 years. My brother had watched TV’s show ‘Dragnet’ during that time and bought its anti-marijuana propaganda. I can’t help but wish Jack Webb had trained his sights on the tobacco industry instead. He would have done the country a tremendous service.

  18. John, dude! You don’t understand the purpose of barring police from arresting people that aren’t committing a crime? What doesn’t make sense about it? They can’t buy it, but the police cannot use their possesion as a excuse to attack them for a non-crime.

    Of course, the police still can find out who is selling illegal buds, and arrest them as they should be able to.

  19. @ Demonhype,
    Again, very well said, regarding Dems vs Repubs on the MJ issue. You took many of the words right out of my mouth.

    @ Chris, to reiterate what Demonhype said, while it’s true you can always point out a Dem here and there who is against our cause, you are virtually certain to find a majority of Republicans who are against it.

    It’s no coincidence that the two states that legalized, CO and WA, are blue states. And it’s almost a guarantee that the last states to legalize will be deep red states. You have to know this Chris; it’s pretty obvious.

    As Demonhype said, we are not giving the Dems a free pass on this issue, and we both obviously condemn those Dems who vote like conservatives on this issue. But the Dems are the far more progressive party on this issue, whether you want to admit it or not.

  20. PS–Nancy Pelosi, a couple of months ago, stated that she supported CO’s and WA’s decision to legalize MJ; would Boehner have done the same?

    I still recall all the sarcasm directed at her on these boards after her statement, too; I’m positive those same critics would have lauded Boehner to no end had he made a similar statement.

  21. Sen. Ball is a retard. Wish these idiots would read the facts and research going on about this beneficial plant.

  22. @ Ray, he is right. Marijuana currently is a gateway drug. This is because of prohibition. It isn’t a brain chemistry thing, it is a social thing. Marijuana should not be grow and sold by criminal organizations with no interest in public safety!

    Explain it to Senator Greg Ball, that it doesn’t have to be a gateway drug anymore. He can fix the system. We have have clean marijuana sold by professionals far away from any dangerous and illegal drugs so the “gateway” disappears.

  23. @Ray
    NY Senator Greg Ball should know that becoming a POLITICAN can be the gateway to showing no compassion to human life. Screw you senator. !

  24. If the republicans are unable to accept medical cannabis, then they will once again hand the congress over to their opponents because of an ignorance akin to illiteracy.

  25. I think marihuana should be legal mainly because, I like to smoke it! What’s wrong with that?

    If you don’t like to smoke then don’t. That’s your choice.

  26. cannabis literally is a plant produced by our earth and the government needs to stop preventing real people from getting the real treatment they need for their cancers/seizures/mental disorders/pain/ect..

    “we the people”

  27. I have tremors and pot is one of the few drugs that actually stop them. Sure there are pills that I can take, but pot doesn’t have the side effects that the pills have and I am in far less pain.

  28. 12/27/13 The news is all a buzz about Colorado and Washington in 2014. They say that legalization will have very little effect on the people of the state’s other than increased revenue from taxes and a shortage of legal weed. My theory is that people who use MJ will just be more open about it, like drinking a beer. Once states see a reduction in crime, increased tax revenue, happy voters, and a a line of hungry patrons at the local 7-11, the reality of marijuana prohibition will be seen as a huge waste of money and time.

  29. [ I am Republican ] I support ending prohibition. But I allso support Gun rights. Dems wont budge on this issue. [So what ] Pot should be legal for every one. Why do we have to point fingers at politicle affiliations,? Prohibition needs all AMERICANS togeather to end this nightmer. If we the people, start acting like congres, then we can all forget about ending prohibition. Focus, We need both parties on the right side of this issue.

  30. I hate prohibition of marijuana and I support gun rights. The Republicans aren’t protecting gun rights, they are protecting criminals from becoming barred from owning guns. The Republicans are the ones making guns more dangerous by barring Federal Officers from tracking illegal gun sales.

    Why the fuck would tracking illegal gun sales be illegal unless you want to see children murdered by street thugs shooting at each other through crowds of people???

    I used to be republican, but they just suck now-a-days.

  31. Weed use to be legal but when they made drinking againts thelaw they put weed in there to. So when drinking became legal again weed shouldve been removed from the law just like drinking was

  32. I strongly support the legalization it would cut down crime. And it’s ridiculous to bash it so much. They are harder on people the smoke weed in ny than crack that is messed up I say let’s do this

  33. If 18 year olds are able to posses but cannot buy, the 21is just going to sell it to them for increased prices like they’ve always done inthe past. Sort of motivating 21 year old idiots to deal pot. my 2cents. LEGALIZE IT

  34. This will be amazing if they legalize marijiuana just for the simple fact is that it’s much safer than any other drug known to mankind. Me personally have never seen any reports or death caused buy marijiuana but yet they still won’t legalize it and they should because it’s harmless and it also helped a lot of people.!!

  35. New York Gov. Cuomo is supposed to open up about medical MJ and his effort to allow it under certain controls. It’s a start, but NY also has a legalization bill coming up and an anti stop and frisk mayor now. What should we expect and accept from them?

  36. Can we really trust a natural herb that is grown by the government? will they be growing it themselves or is the the stash they get from “drug cartels”?

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