WGXC-90.7 FM

Marijuana legalization inches forward in Albany

Jan 29, 2020 12:45 am
Tom Precious reports in the Buffalo News that a Cuomo administration official says they learned from their failure to legalize recreational marijuana last legislative session. “We’ve looked at lessons learned," said Norman Birenbaum, the state’s director of cannabis programs. Most of the contention in Albany about the issue concerns where to spend the $300 million in projected marijuana excise tax revenues. Cuomo wants the money for the state’s general fund to help with the current $6 billion deficit. Legislators have many other ideas, including paying for drug treatment and prevention efforts, law enforcement efforts to get impaired drivers off the roads, and programs in poorer neighborhoods that were disproportionately targeted for marijuana arrests over the years. “I’m optimistic we can get this done in 2020," said State Senator Liz Krueger, the Manhattan Democrat sponsoring the legalization legislation. If a bill is passed, the Cuomo administration estimates that it would take 18 months before legal marijuana sales begin. Read more about this story in the Buffalo News.