Yes, it is true. New Yorker’s can now possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana even though sale of recreational-use marijuana won’t be legal for another estimated 18 months, while the state works on regulations.
New York State Senate Bill S854 not only legalizes the possession of marijuana, but it goes much further. It also starts working towards expunging the criminal records of many individuals with past marijuana-related convictions. Furthermore, the law also allows for using cannabis in public spaces, though New Yorkers can’t smoke or vape marijuana in locations prohibited by state law, including workplaces, colleges and universities, hospitals and within 100 feet of a school.
The hope is to “Create 30,000 to 60,000 jobs and the ability to earn $350 million annually in tax collections,” according to The Mercury News. The article adds, “The New York State Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act would add a 13% tax to retail sales for state and local tax revenue” and it continues, “The taxes would go to the New York state cannabis revenue fund, with the remainder after costs being split between education (40%), the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund (40%) and the Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund (20%).”
As more states begin to work towards legalization of recreational marijuana, it begs the question as to when the federal government and FDA will come-around to better addressing cannabis usage, products and consumption.