Mayor Backs Legal Marijuana, With Caveats
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Mayor Backs Legal Marijuana, With Caveats
Posted by CN Staff on December 20, 2018 at 10:03:10 PT
By J. David Goodman
Source: New York Times
New York -- No smoking marijuana in public. An age limit of 21. An option for home delivery. And what about all those prior convictions for marijuana-related offenses? Automatically expunged. Those were some of the recommendations made in a 77-page report from New York City officials for how to approach the legalization of recreational marijuana use, an eventuality that Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged earlier this year even as he stopped short of endorsing the move.Now, three days after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared marijuana legalization a key part of his agenda for the state in 2019, Mr. de Blasio endorsed legalization for the first time — with caveats.
“I have been convinced that we can establish a regulatory framework that keeps our streets safe, rights the wrongs of the past, and gives economic opportunity to communities hit hardest by the war on drugs,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement to The New York Times on Wednesday. He is expected to discuss the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, at a news conference on Thursday.Should the state move to legalize marijuana, New York would join 10 other states and Washington, D.C., where recreational marijuana is legal. Sales in New York could exceed $1.7 billion a year, with tax revenues used to fund government programs, as happens in other states.New York City is also likely to undergo a transition similar to what occurred in other states, where the drug has become part of the daily backdrop. While Mr. Cuomo has not outlined a detailed plan for legalization, the recommendations from the city’s report resemble approaches already adopted elsewhere in the country.The report recommends limiting drug testing of job applicants — something Washington D.C. voted to do in 2014 — and random tests for employees. Criminal records for marijuana-related offenses should be expunged for drug crimes that would no longer be illegal, a recommendation, like others in the report, that would require a change in state law.For Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat who has presented himself as aligned with the progressive wing of the party, the change of public position comes after years of being critical of the prospect of marijuana legalization — even as he prepared for its eventuality.On Wednesday, the Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez called for some marijuana convictions in the borough to be erased.“I believe the laws we have now are the right laws,” Mr. de Blasio said in September 2017 when asked about marijuana. A few months later, he declared himself “skeptical but willing to study.”“I think what would happen in a legalization dynamic is it would become another corporate reality,” Mr. de Blasio said in April in an attempt to thread his opposition to marijuana legalization through the progressive needle of anti-corporate activism.“There are real safety issues, real health issues, there’s huge issues of how we stop corporate America from taking over the marijuana industry,” he said two weeks ago.While legalization is a matter of state law, New York City officials hope they can influence the process in Albany — something Mr. de Blasio’s administration has often struggled to do — and carve out areas of local control. With both houses of the State Legislature under Democratic control, the city is likely to have more influence than in years past.“We look forward to reviewing this report from one of the many municipalities in New York,” Tyrone Stevens, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, said of the de Blasio administration report, adding that the governor initiated a “comprehensive study” of legalized marijuana a year ago.The city’s report was put together by a group of officials from the police, health and fire departments, as well as officials from the Small Business Services agency and those in charge of increasing minority- and women-owned businesses in New York City.The heavily footnoted report reads like a lobbying document, laying out the position of the nation’s largest city on an issue that is just beginning to be openly considered by state lawmakers. Some portions were taken from a State Senate bill introduced earlier this year.The recommendations, if adopted, would largely bring New York in line with states where recreational marijuana is already legal, or those in which proposals are being considered.“Public consumption should be prohibited unless at locally regulated consumption sites,” the report recommends. Such places to smoke or ingest marijuana legally exist in places like Nevada, said Morgan Fox, spokesman for the National Cannabis Industry Association, who added that other states are wrestling with the idea.Many of the recommendations are framed in ways to prevent the marijuana businesses from becoming overly corporate. Among those is a capped licensing system that the report compares to one that exists in the craft beer industry; a ban on vertical integration of marijuana businesses; and encouragement for cooperatives. Existing medical marijuana businesses should not get preference for licenses, the report recommends.Other sections address decades of racially disproportionate marijuana arrests and punishment for marijuana, a trend that has continued in New York City even as the overall number of such arrests has plummeted under Mr. de Blasio. Many infractions are now handled with a summons.Penalties for violations of marijuana laws, under legalization, should be civil, rather than criminal, the report recommends, including consumption by those under 21.A version of this article appears in print on Dec. 20, 2018, on Page A25 of the New York edition with the headline: Mayor Backs Legalization Of Marijuana, With Caveats. Source: New York Times (NY) Author:    J. David GoodmanPublished: December 20, 2018Copyright: 2018 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on December 28, 2018 at 18:44:48 PT
Canada Like California Has Over-regulation Problem
Consumers are paying for government’s failure to understand cannabis.
PUBLISHED 2 DAYS AGO (Dec. 26, 2018)
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Comment #15 posted by Sam Adams on December 28, 2018 at 08:46:49 PT
Happy Holidays! good article on California - Legalization 2.0 is needed.....btw don't forget, we have evidence that Mitch Mcconnell's familiy runs hard drugs from South America - he may have good reaons to prolong Prohibition>>“The cannabis industry is being choked by California’s penchant for over-regulation,” said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, a pro-legalization group. “It’s impossible to solve all of the problems without a drastic rewrite of the law, which is not in the cards for the foreseeable future.”
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on December 26, 2018 at 06:59:34 PT
Afterburner and Hope
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by Hope on December 25, 2018 at 14:28:04 PT
Afterburner, comment 11
Amen, Bro!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by Hope on December 25, 2018 at 14:23:34 PT
Merry Christmas!
Merry, Merry Christmas!
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on December 25, 2018 at 07:14:09 PT
Jesus the Christ Is with Us and within Us
On this blessed day, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas with your families and friends. I pray for the homeless, the jobless and the ill. I give thanks that human kindness is stronger than the darkness of life. I give thanks that our long and valiant struggle is bearing good fruit. I remember with sadness all our heroes who have been sacrificed to a senseless and vicious prohibition war. I pray for comfort to the families and friends of those gone from this world and those still deprived of their liberty.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by FoM on December 24, 2018 at 13:05:47 PT
Soup Herb
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too. Have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Soup Herb on December 24, 2018 at 09:49:45 PT:
Take the High Road
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Peace, Enjoy
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by FoM on December 24, 2018 at 06:30:51 PT
Hope and John Tyler
When this journey started I wondered how it would ever end. Someone said it wouldn't end with a bang but with a whimper and that is exactly the way it is happening. Have a Merry Christmas and I hope that 2019 brings us all finally legal marijuana everywhere.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on December 23, 2018 at 21:39:05 PT
And McConnell, in spite of having been on our side
getting the hemp part of the Farm Bill passed... is still an impediment to full legalization. He's the Senate's version of what Pete Sessions was over at the House. He's head of the committee that everything that goes to the Senate has to go through. He needs to keep up the "Good" work, just like ol' Pete did ... if he wants to lose his Senate job.Mitch McConnell Blocks Marijuana Banking Reform Amendment
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on December 23, 2018 at 21:06:00 PT
finally some good news
There is something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. “Stuff” is happening. I sense some behind the scene planning and coordination like an orchestrated campaign by big business, media, and DC lobbyist hired by big business. There is a media PR campaign for cannabis. There have been several recent business articles about big business buying into cannabis businesses in a big way, and how good it will be, and now the Marijuana Justice Act being introduced in Congress to convince the American public that this is the right thing to do. I am glad to see this finally coming about. For good or ill, big business will come into the scene and do what they do, but the “scene” has to be fair. A lot of people paid a high price for the “scene”. They have to be paid back. Let’s make this a good karma thing all around.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on December 23, 2018 at 19:53:34 PT
I hope so, too, FoM.
Now that Pete Sessions is out of the picture, things will improve drastically, I think.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 23, 2018 at 06:37:53 PT
I do hope that now that we are going to have Democrats in power in the House that they will get it done and Republicans stops saying no and Trump signs it.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on December 21, 2018 at 14:50:58 PT
Oh my gosh!
Some of the sanity coming out of there these days is absolutely blindingly bright! It's stunning. The "Marijuana Justice Act". Does that sound good or what?Note: "The legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act to entirely remove cannabis from the list of federally banned substances. It would also withhold federal funds from states that disproportionately arrest or incarcerate low-income people or minorities for cannabis offenses."From the Marijuana Moment article posted in my last comment: With McGovern signing on to the Marijuana Justice Act, the total number of co-sponsors for the bill has reached 43. The legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act to entirely remove cannabis from the list of federally banned substances. It would also withhold federal funds from states that disproportionately arrest or incarcerate low-income people or minorities for cannabis offenses.Any funds that are withheld under the bill would be allocated to a community reinvestment fund, which would “be available to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to establish a grant program to reinvest in communities most affected by the war on drugs.”
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on December 21, 2018 at 14:30:14 PT
I'm so thankful! This is so good to read.
Incoming House Rules Chair Signs On To Far-Reaching Marijuana Reform Bill
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Comment #1 posted by Hope on December 21, 2018 at 14:17:44 PT
They will, but they won't. It is, but isn't.
FDA To Take Steps Toward Allowing CBD Products Following Hemp Legalization
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