As mentioned in my previous post, things are started to look good for NY legalizing cannabis in 2019. The CRTA, as proposed in the budget, did have positive qualities. It included several employment and hiring protections, as cannabis was not to be considered an illicit substance inside NY state. However, the CRTA did not contain home growing provisions or any social justice ones.
The CRTA faced criticism from NORML and other groups due to these issues. With the budget vote deadline coming close, the CRTA was ultimately dropped from the budget. All did not seem to be lost, however, as the MRTA was still pending in the Senate.
However, Cuomo really didn’t seem to want to support it. After the budget talks failed, Cuomo was very absent in legalization talks and barely mentioned it in press briefings.
I personally sent many emails, made phone calls, and even mailed physical letters to my state representatives showing my support. Some answered while others didn’t, but I still did as much as I could to let my representatives know my position.
In the final weeks of the legislative session, support in the Senate waned even with the Democrat majority. The lack of support came from Long Island senators.
While Illinois was able to pass a legalization measure through, NY failed. In-fighting, politics, and arguing where the tax revenues were to go were listed as the reasons for the failure. Disappointment was abound, even though the Senate majority leader stated she will continue her support for the MRTA.
With the FY2020 session starting soon, I will most certainly be watching this measure. With any luck, backroom negotiations would have occurred in the off months and we might be able to get support. If not, we can only hope to vote out those in opposition next November.