The NYPD has seemingly made good on their promise to cut back on meaningless low-level marijuana possession—arrests for weed possession are on track to fall by 20% in 2013, and police say that overall enforcement of marijuana laws are taking a back seat to drugs that can actually kill you. Nevertheless, medical marijuana reform and other such measures keep hitting potholes in Albany. State Senator Liz Krueger is pushing ahead for something even bigger: “It is my intention as a New York State senator to soon introduce a law that would actually decriminalize, regulate and tax marijuana in New York,” she told a crowd this week on the Upper East Side.
According to CapitalNY, Krueger unveiled a draft of her bill, "Marijuana, Regulation, and Taxation Act.” Under it, NY adults would be allowed ot grow up to six pot plants at home; they could buy and sell weed just like alcohol; weed sales would be regulated by the New York State Liquor Authority; drivers wouldn't be allowed to operate vehicles under the influence; and pot would be taxed heavily, around $50 an ounce.
Most of the proceeds from the sales (80%) would go to the state—the rest would go toward substance abuse, criminal re-entry and job training programs. Krueger, who noted she hasn't smoked pot since the 1970s, had a very sympathetic audience—but even with Gov. Andrew Cuomo supporting decriminilizing small amounts of marijuana, it'll be an uphill battle to get this bill the support it needs.
"In the same way that Harvey Milk felt strongly that if you want rights then you have to stand up and say that you want your rights, and that you’re gay and you want your rights, and I think it’s the same way with pot smokers," said panelist Julie Holland, a psychiatrist who wrote The Pot Book. "I think that people have to stand up and say...'I’m a C.P.A. and I pay my taxes and I vote and I’m a pot smoker."
Perhaps they should also consider some alternative selling points as well:
Many people that train in Jiu Jitsu feel that marijuana enhances their performance, me included.It intensifies your focus.
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) May 18, 2013