New York’s recent law legalizing the use of cannabis will be passed with the aim to protect members of minority communities that have been negatively or disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition.
The main objective of this law is to ensure that these communities will instead benefit from legalization. While the sale of marijuana will not be available immediately, the new law has been amended to improve the balance of social equality.
What does the New York cannabis law entail?
The New York cannabis law was brokered between Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders and allows cannabis to be used by adults over the age of 21.
The sale of cannabis will be subject to a 13% taxation with 9% going to the state and 4% to the localities where it was purchased. The taxation is modeled on the current program for alcohol.
Marijuana dispensaries will also need to be licensed, by meeting certain requirements, as soon as the legal framework is in place.
What are the potential ramifications of the New York cannabis law?
There is debate as to how the new law will affect the residents of New York. Similarly to alcohol, even though cannabis will be legal to buy and consume, driving under the influence will still be against the law. The increased availability of cannabis could, therefore, lead to more dangers on the road, according to personal injury attorneys in New York.
Any citizen would be responsible for negligent behavior as both cannabis and alcohol can impair judgement. For this reason, possible ramifications of an increase in use could be road traffic accidents, collisions, injury, or property damage while people are under the influence of marijuana.
It’s important for New York citizens to understand the law and protect themselves accordingly.
How is the New York cannabis law related to social equality?
Apart from the potential ramifications of a possible increase in cannabis use, the law is set to promote progressive change.
The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) has created a social and economic equity program to motivate individuals that have previously been impacted by prohibition to participate in the market for legal cannabis sale.
Social equity applicants are to include minorities, women-owned businesses, farmers in hardship, and service-disable veterans.
In order to ensure the equity program reaches out to these communities, grants, business incubator programs, and low-interest loans will be issued from the state’s Reinvestment Fund.
Another way the MRTA is centered towards balancing social equality is that it states that any criminal records relating to marjiuana will be expunged. This is in an attempt to give these individuals a fresh start.
The MRTA will set a standard for other states where cannabis is legal, as it will prioritize social and economic incentives.