Peoples-Stokes Pushing Bill to Legalize Marijuana Forward

Public hearings scheduled on the issue

Tom Puckett
August 30, 2018 - 4:00 am

Bufflao, NY (WBEN) Several assemblymembers are pushing a bill to legalize, tax and regulate adult marijuana use in New York. Part of the process will be a series of public hearings.

"We will be seeking both experts on the topic, other states that have done it to see what worked, what didn't, as well as the public, both pro and con," says Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who is one of the sponsors of the current bill in Albany. "It impacts a lot of people, and it's important to have conversations with the public base before we make a decision."

The issue of legalizing marijuana in New York has been bandied about in the legislature for some four years according to Peoples-Stokes. "Right now, the legislation already proposed is good. There are a couple of amendments we'd like to tweak," she says. "We did a hearing after the second year in Buffalo."

Peoples-Stokes says the conversation is important. "I think it's going to call for a lot of public education, and people should be aware we can either spend a lot of money on criminal justice, or save those dollars and take what we're able to get of those savings and invest in areas in need," says Peoples-Stokes, who notes legalization has already happened in Massachusetts and Vermont, with New Jersey expected to follow suit. 

She's hopeful the legislature will pass the bill this year. 

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