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Why NYC Legalization is a Road Map for Federal Legalization

Why NYC Legalization is a Road Map for Federal Legalization

New York has finally gone and officially legalized recreational weed! Some are already saying that their legal marijuana program is one of the best in the nation. Others are saying that it is a new era for marijuana justice, after a long battle between groups both political and not. 

What's So Great?

First and foremost, possession by legal adults of up to three ounces of Cannabis and 24 grams of concentrate is legal. That is effective immediately.

It should be noted that "driving while high" is still illegal, but having cannabis in your car is not. 

The New York City police force, which has had plenty in the news about stopping people and cars that allegedly "smell" of Cannabis, can no longer use that wonderful aroma as an excuse. In one NYPD memo that was recently released, probable cause was also necessary to have the right to search. 

New York Cannabis Home Grows

Some other interesting news is that this new legal cannabis program has brought forth more talk about home cultivation, which has been a collective thorn in the side of our community, and the discussion of being permitted once regulations are figured out by our overlords. Adults will be able to grow a maximum of three mature plants and three immature plants at any given time. Households with two or more adults are permitted to grow twice that amount. 

Social Equity Reform & Automatic Expungements

Probably one of those most positive things about this new program, besides the fact that one can now legally smoke recreationally, is the new Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which provides the automatic expungement OR resentencing of anyone "with a previous marijuana conviction that would now be legal under the law." Since we know that the demographic of our community that is behind bars because of this naturally occurring plant quite clearly, this is also a great stepping stone for injustices that have plagued our nation for generations. 

The MRTA also seems to be pretty clear that no lawyers, no court petitions, no confusing paperwork, and, most importantly, no begging to have your conviction set aside or your records sealed to qualify. Clear and simple automatic expungement. 

"We were no longer going to tolerate rampant abuse of law enforcement against people of color, especially Black people, who suffered under the war on drugs and from over policing," said Holland, president of the New York City Cannabis Industry Association (NYCCIA)

Cannabis Delivery to Your Door

Although there is already a very efficient infrastructure functioning among the legacy Cannabis operators in NYC, Holland also said “Experienced legacy market operators are very capable of continuing to operate efficiently and effectively. We’d like these so-called ‘outlaws’ to become in-laws. They clearly know how to run the industry whereas legislators in Albany have no idea.”

Publicly Consuming Cannabis in New York City

New York City intends to create public consumption spaces and pop up shops that will eventually allow for public consumption. Catering licenses will eventually be made available.

 

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