Restaurant Law Blog

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Recreational Marijuana Use Law Will Be Pushed Next Year

In 2014, the State of New York legalized the use of medical marijuana.  The possession and private use of minor amounts of the substance has been decriminalized in the state since 1977. Even so, tens of thousands of arrests are made each year in New York City for what is characterized as public use of the drug.  Now, legislators are seeking to put an end to that.

Democratic Senator Liz Krueger is committed to pushing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in early 2015.  The bill was introduced last year, rejected and has since been amended.  If passes, it would allow marijuana dispensaries regulated by the State Liquor Authority to be launched in New York.  The marijuana would be taxed and individuals would be permitted to possess two ounces and six plants for personal use only.  

Legislators backing this bill hope that the changes made to the tax and employment provisions since its introduction will be enough to gain the support it needs.  Some, like Governor Andrew Cuomo, have not taken a clear stance on the issue, although he has hinted that he does not support legalizing the drug for recreational use.  If the bill gains enough support, the law could be passed and go right into effect.

Senator Krueger’s chief of staff has said that the true inspiration behind the bill is the disproportionate amount of arrests of people of color for marijuana possession and use in places like New York City.  Senator Krueger has said that although she does not use marijuana herself, she believes that it should be considered a matter of public health.  Only two other states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Although a number of states are also considering bills of this kind.

The DiPasquale Law Group deals with all matters relating to the New York State Liquor Authority, including assisting clients in obtaining liquor licenses.   Should the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act pass, the firm plans to branch out into this new and exciting practice area.  If you have a question relating to a restaurant, liquor license or any other State Liquor Authority matter, call the New York attorneys at the DiPasquale Law Group at (646)383-4607.

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