After years of false starts, New York state lawmakers said Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use by adults starting next year.
State Sen. Liz Krueger said lawmakers were finalizing a bill that would create a new state regulator for cannabis products and decriminalize the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana. New Yorkers will be allowed to cultivate marijuana for personal use and the state will study a new system for determining whether drivers are inebriated because of marijuana use, she said.
The bill is set to be taken up next week by the state Assembly and Senate, lawmakers said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has proposed legalizing marijuana in the state budget that is due by next week. He put marijuana legalization into his budget proposals in 2019 and 2020, but it was taken out after disagreements with Democrats who dominate the state Assembly and Senate.
During an unrelated briefing on Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo said, “We’re close, but we’ve been close three times before.” Spokesmen for the governor didn’t immediately respond to specific questions about the bill.