Not only does the legislation legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana, it also expunges the criminal records of those who were convicted of crimes that are now legal under the law.
The governor’s office expects to receive over $350 million in tax revenue with this booming industry and create over 60,000 jobs.
When the law passed the bill last December, many Brooklyn residents felt it was way overdue. Now, we took the streets of Flatbush to speak to Brooklyn residents about their thoughts on the law.
Retail manager Rose Casseus, had mixed feelings about the bill, claiming it would be great for business, but worried about young teens getting their hands on the drug.
“I think it would be great for investing since it’s a growing industry. But I feel like a lot of young kids will abuse it because they don’t know any better. ”
Under the new law, New Yorkers can possess up to three ounces of marijuana and grow up to three mature pot plants at home, with a limit of six per household.
Hospital buyer Emma Paul was thrilled to hear the news. “I’m not a weed smoker, but I’m glad they’re finally legalizing it. The system has taken advantage of so many young Black men and women just for having it in their possession. This way, cops don’t have a reason to arrest citizens for their personal choices.”
Cuomo told ABC News the legalization was historic and righted wrongs, “by putting an end to harsh prison sentences.”
“[The law] embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State’s economy, and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits.”
Charlene Charles, a patient care associate, felt the bill was a good start. “White people have made weed trendy, while many Black people sit behind bars for nonviolent crimes, like possessing marijuana,” she said.
“I’m hoping that with legalization, minorities — who have been targeted and jailed— can benefit from the business. It’s much-needed revenue for the city, post-COVID.”
However, older Brooklyn residents that spoke with BK Reader disagreed with a changing culture and were against the legislation. Marie Louis, a retired nurse, felt only medical marijuana should remain legal.
“I don’t think people should go to jail for it, but I don’t agree with smoking it unless you’re sick. People always abuse things and unless it’s regulated, I feel like it could get out of control.”
MTA worker Luc Joseph was indifferent. “I don’t have strong feelings either way. I actually hate the smell of it, but if everyone else is making money off it, why can’t we do the same?”
Sales will not begin until 2022, but the Office of Cannabis Management has been created to help regulate the sale and distribution of cannabis, along with an expansion of medical marijuana use.
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