HEAT ALERT

Hot and humid weather moves in Tuesday for Long Island

Push to legalize recreational pot fails in New York

A push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York state has failed after state leaders did not reach a consensus on several key details in the final days of the legislative session.

News 12 Staff

Jun 19, 2019, 6:50 PM

Updated 1,824 days ago

Share:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York state has failed after state leaders did not reach a consensus on several key details in the final days of the legislative session.

Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat and the lead sponsor of the main legalization bill in her chamber, confirmed Wednesday that her legislation would not pass this year.

"Through months of negotiation and conversation ... we made great strides," she said in a statement. "We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of time."

Despite broad support for legalization and polls showing its statewide popularity, lawmakers couldn't agree on the many details of legalization, such as how tax revenue should be spent, whether past pot convictions should be expunged, and whether local communities could opt out of hosting dispensaries or instead would have to opt in.

For supporters who had hoped the nation's fourth-most populous state would soon join the growing list of states where recreational pot is legal, the failure of the bill was a significant disappointment. They'll now turn their attention toward next year, an election year, in which legalization may be an even tougher political challenge.
MORE: Legal recreational marijuana comes down to the wire in Albany
MORE: Power & Politics: Legal recreational marijuana in NY

With lawmakers set to adjourn this week, some supporters hope there is time to pass a more modest bill to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of marijuana and create a process for people to clear their records of past pot convictions.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proposed his own legalization legislation back in January, said he would support further decriminalization.

Under current law, those caught with small amounts of marijuana are subject to fines, and not misdemeanor charges. But police can still arrest people for smoking pot in public, a wrinkle legalization advocates say is too often used to target young racial minorities.

"Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long and it has to end," Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday. "The time to act is now."

The so-called "plan B" bill would also expand access to the state's medical marijuana program and seek to boost the state's hemp industry.

Illinois is poised to become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana after lawmakers in that state approved legalization legislation last month. Two of New York's neighbors, Massachusetts and Vermont, have already taken the step.

Cuomo included his legalization proposal in his state budget recommendation but pulled the measure after lawmakers couldn't reach consensus.

He warned at the time that the decision to consider marijuana legalization on its own would make it harder to pass. The effort lost further momentum when lawmakers in next-door New Jersey failed to pass their own legalization efforts.
 


More from News 12
5:18
HEAT ALERT: Hot and humid weather moves in Tuesday for Long Island

HEAT ALERT: Hot and humid weather moves in Tuesday for Long Island

0:49
Nassau to open cooling centers amid high heat this week

Nassau to open cooling centers amid high heat this week

2:21
West Babylon school district to vote on second spending plan Tuesday

West Babylon school district to vote on second spending plan Tuesday

0:16
Man wanted for stealing over $2,000 from Island Park vape shop

Man wanted for stealing over $2,000 from Island Park vape shop

1:43
Main Street Long Island: Showcasing the best of Lynbrook

Main Street Long Island: Showcasing the best of Lynbrook

1:36
Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Remember Me Rescue NY on June 17

Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Remember Me Rescue NY on June 17

0:18
Police: 45-year-old man dies after being found unresponsive in West Islip pool

Police: 45-year-old man dies after being found unresponsive in West Islip pool

1:40
Officials: Fire displaces 18 from Hempstead home with illegal subdivisions

Officials: Fire displaces 18 from Hempstead home with illegal subdivisions

0:33
Police: Man arrested in Montauk hit-and-run that left e-bike riders hurt

Police: Man arrested in Montauk hit-and-run that left e-bike riders hurt

0:29
Nassau police: 2 women charged in Franklin Square home burglary

Nassau police: 2 women charged in Franklin Square home burglary

0:35
Police: Man accused of driving drunk in East Meadow with 13-year-old boy inside car

Police: Man accused of driving drunk in East Meadow with 13-year-old boy inside car

2:02
 A potential heat wave is coming. These sunscreen tips can save your skin

A potential heat wave is coming. These sunscreen tips can save your skin

1:20
Rapper Ja Rule performs at Mitchel Field as part of Nassau County’s Juneteenth celebration

Rapper Ja Rule performs at Mitchel Field as part of Nassau County’s Juneteenth celebration

0:31
Suffolk police: Motorcyclist seriously hurt in Bay Shore crash

Suffolk police: Motorcyclist seriously hurt in Bay Shore crash

1:46
‘We lost a brother.’ Friends, loved ones remember ‘Rookie of the Year’ firefighter at Hagerman FD

‘We lost a brother.’ Friends, loved ones remember ‘Rookie of the Year’ firefighter at Hagerman FD

1:34
Early voting begins on Long Island for Democratic primary elections

Early voting begins on Long Island for Democratic primary elections

All lanes clear on Southern State parkway following overturned vehicle crash

All lanes clear on Southern State parkway following overturned vehicle crash

2:07
New beach rules limiting access take effect after shooting in Long Beach

New beach rules limiting access take effect after shooting in Long Beach

2:15
Police: Woman arrested for motorcyclist hit-and-run in Patchogue

Police: Woman arrested for motorcyclist hit-and-run in Patchogue

2:15
Oakdale residents call for Islip officials to hold owners of former Dowling College more accountable

Oakdale residents call for Islip officials to hold owners of former Dowling College more accountable