If, like countless millions of other people, you remain stuck in a prohibitionary state, you might be wondering where in the world is weed legal? 19 million New Yorkers may soon find that the answer lies closer to home than it used to.
Already New York City, home to 44% of the state’s residents, has seen the arrest rate plummet 40% in 2015, with tickets replacing handcuffs for those caught with 25 grams or less of marijuana. Arrests still outnumber tickets, but help from the NYS legislature may be on the way.
Legislation legalizing medical marijuana passed in 2014, and the governor just signed a bill fast-tracking the process for those in medical need. Medical dispensaries will start opening around the city by early 2016.
But another, bigger shoe might be ready to drop. According to The Village Voice, The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act “would end New York’s prohibition on marijuana and treat it similarly to alcohol.”
Introduced in 2013, the bill has languished in the legislature for two years now, and will remain there until the governor and the senate develop the political will to push things along. Still, because of the recent movement on the medical marijuana issue, some feel that the populous state, along with California and Nevada, is a likely candidate for legalization in the foreseeable future.
Should that happen, it would join the four states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington) that have already legalized recreational marijuana and another twelve where the issue is likely to appear on the ballot in 2016.
There will still be plenty of speed bumps along the way; Ohio just voted down a constitutional amendment that would have legalized recreational cannabis, though at this point it’s not clear if it was the legalization concept that lacked support or the included controversial monopoly business model.
Either way, the writing is on the wall. As more states move away from cannabis prohibition, the federal government will not likely be too far behind, and we can finally stop asking “are we there yet?”
Live in a state where it’s legal? Find the best deals and dispensaries here.
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