NY lawmaker reintroduces recreational pot bill

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A Manhattan lawmaker is pushing a plan to make marijuana legal for recreational use in New York state.

Sen. Liz Krueger (D - Manhattan) is reintroducing the bill after making changes to how the tax would be structured and clarifying who would be able to work in the state's marijuana industry.

In a statement, she told News 12, "Prohibition of marijuana is a policy that just hasn't worked. It's time we have an honest conversation about what we should do next. The illegal marijuana economy is alive and well, and our unjust laws are branding nonviolent New Yorkers, especially young adults, as criminals."

New York is not a referendum state, meaning if the bill got through to the Legislature, New York residents would not get a chance to vote on the issue like in Colorado and Washington. Both states legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Drug addiction expert Dr. Jeff Reynolds says he thinks the plan is a bad idea.

"I think we're talking about introducing yet another intoxicant into our community and saying this is OK if you do it," Reynolds told News 12.

In November, voters in Oregon and Alaska will decide if they also want to legalize recreational pot for adults.

In 2013, a similar pot regulation bill in New York was introduced, but it never made it out of committee. This new bill also faces an uphill battle. When asked if he would support any marijuana legislation, Gov. Cuomo simply said, "No."

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