New York lawmakers reach agreement to legalize marijuana


ALBANY, NY – After years of false starts, New York state lawmakers said Wednesday they had reached an agreement to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use by adults starting next year.

State Sen. Liz Krueger said lawmakers were finalizing a bill that would create a new state regulator for cannabis products and decriminalize the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana. New Yorkers will be allowed to grow marijuana for personal use and the state will study a new system to determine whether drivers are drunk due to marijuana use, he said.

The bill will be considered next week by the state Assembly and Senate, lawmakers said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, proposed legalizing marijuana in the state budget due next week. He put marijuana legalization in his budget proposals in 2019 and 2020, but it was dropped after disagreements with Democrats who dominate the State Assembly and Senate.

During an unrelated briefing on Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo said, “We’re close, but we’ve been three times before.” Spokesmen for the governor did not immediately respond to specific questions about the bill.

Ms. Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat sponsoring the measure, said the final legislation has evolved after input from industry stakeholders across the country.

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