Status: March 28, 2021 5:07 p.m.
The sale of cannabis is already legal in 14 US states, and New York is expected to be the 15th. The government hopes for tax revenues in the millions. But the main reason for legalization is different.
New York State MPs have agreed to legalize the sale of marijuana. This allows adults aged 21 or over to be sold for recreational use.
The agreement between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the members of Parliament was preceded by a long-standing dispute. A corresponding law could now be passed in the next few days. New York with its almost 20 million inhabitants – and the metropolis of the same name – would be the 15th US state to allow marijuana for free use.
It is planned that licenses will be issued for the delivery of the drug to customers and that residents will be allowed to own up to three mature plus three immature plants for their own use.
Additional tax income in the millions
With the decision, the government also has an eye on the taxes that can be levied on cannabis in the future. It is estimated that a market could emerge in the next few years, generating $ 350 million a year in additional tax revenue.
A nine percent sales tax for the state is planned, plus four percent, which is shared by the municipalities and counties. On top of that there is another tax depending on the content of THC, the intoxicating ingredient.
Blacks arrested many times more often
The main reason for legalization, however, is the fight against structural racism: the current cannabis legislation in New York had discriminated against non-whites. Although consumption is roughly evenly distributed, blacks were many times more likely to be arrested for marijuana offenses.
Liz Krueger, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said it was a significant drag on communities of color. It is their goal that the economic benefits of legalization are also used to compensate them.
Loans and other support are provided to encourage minorities, smallholders, women and veterans with disabilities to get into the cannabis business. This could create thousands of jobs – advocates of legalization have argued.