April 19, 2021 3 min read
New York has become the 15th state in the United States of America that has legalized marijuana for recreational use for adults. Moreover, the local government has decided to expunge previous crimes (clear or seal the criminal records) of people who have been convicted of crimes that are no longer classified as crimes under the new law. Here is a look into the impact of marijuana legalization in the United States.
Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in 15 states in the United States, the latest to legalize marijuana being New York, and has been made legal for medical use in 20 states. Significant steps have been made towards legalizing weed on a national level and a number of states have decriminalized possession of certain amounts of marijuana, even though the recreational use remains prohibited in those states.
The possession of up to 3 ounces (or up to 24 grams) for recreational use was made legal in the state of New York for people over the age of 21. People are allowed to grow up to 6 plants in their household and 3 plants per person. People are also allowed to use cannabis products and give it to others who are also over the age of 21.
People with previous convictions for possession of the amounts that are now legal will be expunged or resentenced. Furthermore, marijuana laws in New York now allow people to smoke marijuana wherever smoking tobacco is allowed. There are plans to create sites in certain clubs or lounges where smoking marijuana will be allowed, but it is up to municipalities to decide whether to allow this or not.
State legislators point out social equality, education and protecting the citizens to be among the main motivators to legalize marijuana in New York. The bill to legalize marijuana also provisions the creation of an Office of Cannabis Management whose aim will be to regulate the sale and distribution of marijuana. This means that the regulated sale and distribution will also be possible after the bill becomes a law and under certain conditions provisioned in it.
As the number of states with legal weed increases, it is worthwhile to think about the positive impact of legalizing weed. The most obvious positive impact is the one on people who have been disproportionately affected by cannabis regulations and preventing the same happening for other people in the future. Furthermore, there are potential economic benefits for the states which legalized marijuana consisting of tax revenue from the regulated sale and distribution. For New York, the potential tax revenue has been calculated to possibly reach $350 million and the regulation of sale and distribution could create up to 60,000 workplaces.
Overall, New York is yet another state which made an important step towards a more liberal lifestyle by legalizing marijuana and protecting the rights of citizens who find marijuana of use.
On a national level, marijuana is legal in Canada and Uruguay. In the United States, there are 15 states that have legalized recreational marijuana and 20 more that have allowed it to be used for medical purposes only. No countries in Europe have legalized marijuana, although it is tolerated in countries such as Spain and the Netherlands.
Yes, pot is legal in NY for recreational purposes. People can smoke pot anywhere where it is allowed to smoke tobacco. The sale and distribution will be regulated by the Office of Cannabis Management and are expected to begin in 2022 when the legal framework for the regulation will be ready.
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